One billion dollars later, New Orleans is still at risk.


Snip from a story in today's New York Times by John Schwartz:

Six inches.

After two years and more than a billion dollars spent by the Army Corps of Engineers to rebuild New Orleans’s hurricane protection system, that is how much the water level is likely to be reduced if a big 1-in-100 flood hits Leah Pratcher’s Gentilly neighborhood.

Looking over the maps that showed other possible water levels around the city, Ms. Pratcher grew increasingly furious. Her house got four feet of water after Hurricane Katrina, and still stands to get almost as much from a 1-in-100 flood.

By comparison, the wealthier neighborhood to the west, Lakeview, had its flooding risk reduced by nearly five and a half feet.

“If I got my risk reduced by five feet five inches, I’d feel pretty safe,” said Ms. Pratcher, who along with her husband, Henry, warily returned home from Baton Rouge, La. “Six inches is not going to help us out.”

Link. Image: "The 17th Street Canal pumps and, at right, floodgates. The yellow diesel engines would power pumps to send floodwaters through the black pipes into Lake Pontchartrain." (Fred Conrad / NYT).