An engineering expert has testified he believes excavation work performed by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor caused New Orleans' floodwalls to breach in two places during Hurricane Katrina.
Robert Bea, a retired University of California engineering professor, explained his position Monday during a trial of homeowners' claims against the corps and contractor Washington Group International Inc.
The two-lane stretch of Louisiana Highway 1 that cuts through the marshes of south Lafourche Parish is the only road to Port Fourchon, the oil and gas hub that serves 90 percent of deepwater petroleum operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
When the highway is closed because of high water, as it was for three days during Hurricane Isaac, the industry takes an economic hit.
But, as The Advocate reports, each new storm brings with it the fear that the highway may wash away.
Existing levees will be raised in two northeast Louisiana parishes starting in the next few weeks.
The levees held during the Mississippi River flood of 2011, but have settled gradually since being built in 1973.
Reynold Minsky is president of the 5th Louisiana Levee District board. He tells The News-Star of Monroe the changes will bring all of East Carroll Parish and most of Concordia Parish to 500-year flood protection levels.
A marsh management levee that is expected to become part of Terrebonne Parish's Morganza hurricane protection system was severely damaged during Hurricane Isaac.
The Courier reports the storm's tidal surge destroyed one of the levee's water control structures, washing it away and leaving behind a 50-foot gap.
Terrebonne Levee Director Reggie Dupre said the levee, which crosses open water in the Wildlife and Fisheries' Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Montegut, has caused repeated headaches for the levee district.
Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu will be joining President Obama when he arrives in New Orleans on Labor Day to review the region's recovery from Hurricane Isaac. Landrieu says she’ll be pressing him for more support of offshore revenue sharing.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is checking if its new levee system built around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina put other communities at greater risk. Some residents say they’re suffering unprecedented flooding after Hurricane Isaac.