[StBernard] Corps Says 100-Year Flood Protection In Place

Westley Annis Westley at da-parish.com
Wed May 25 20:34:20 EDT 2011

Corps Says 100-Year Flood Protection In Place

Area Protected As Hurricane Season Approaches, Corps Says

POSTED: 4:39 pm CDT May 25, 2011

CHALMETTE, La. -- With the start of hurricane season just days away, the
Army Corps of Engineers says the area is safer than ever, and the 100-year
flood protection system is in place.

After hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
was authorized to design and construct the hurricane and storm damage risk
reduction system and floodgates.

One area that was heavily damaged in 2005 from a storm surge was the Gulf
Intracoastal Waterway corridor. Now, the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal surge
barrier is in place and can defend against a 100-year storm surge event.

The corps said there were three things they had to do in order to make sure
something like that never happens again. First, they had to reconfigure the
perimeter defenses.

"Everywhere we could, we want to move the defenses away from populated areas
as possible," said Corps Col. Robert Sinkler. "The surge barrier I am
standing on right here is 12 miles from downtown New Orleans."

The corps also had to close off all avenues that allowed water to penetrate
into the city.

"The canals, the waterways, the bayous -- they were open," Sinkler said. "We
constructed closing structures and in some cases, pumping stations at those
canals, so that the storm surge could never push into the heart of the

The third thing the corps did was storm-proof about 50 pumping stations.

"If the city is flooded again, the pump stations can still operate and
remove the floodwater," Sinkler said.

The $1.1 billion surge barrier might concern taxpayers when it comes to how
much they will have to pay to maintain this project for the next 100 years,
but project engineer Victor Villmer believes the structure will stay in good
shape for a long time.

The storm wall extends upwards of 26 feet to help protect from a storm
surge. The interesting thing about the storm wall is that it is very similar
to an iceberg, as only a small amount is visual to the human eye as it
extends down 190 feet to ensure proper protection for the area.

Read more: http://www.wdsu.com/news/28025426/detail.html#ixzz1NPjkZPxZ

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