The Corps of Engineers told Louisiana Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon, staff from the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities and insurance company representatives that upgrades to the Hurricane Protection System in the Greater New Orleans area is on track for a 2011 completion date.
The upgrade of the system includes reconstruction and rebuilding to 100-year flood protection levels 350 miles of levees, floodwalls and floodgates and is intended to protect the area against a Category 5 hurricane.
In a presentation on April 16, the Corps said $3 billion in federal funds has been spent since 2005’s Hurricane Katrina on system improvements. The overall program will cost an estimated $14.6 billion. All levee damage has been repaired, all deficiencies corrected, transitions strengthened and vulnerable floodwalls have been armored for a Hurricane Protection System that is much stronger and better than before Hurricane Katrina, according to Garrett Graves, Director of the Governor’s Office of Coastal Activities.
Commissioner Donelon said Greater New Orleans area is better protected today for any type of flooding event. The Corps presentation indicated that new pumps are in place to route floodwaters out of the area and new pumping stations able to withstand winds of more than 230 miles per hour are under construction. These pumping stations will include a safe house platform to accommodate personnel during a storm to ensure that the pumps remain operational during hurricane events.
Source: Louisiana Department of Insurance, www.ldi.state.la.us