NEW ORLEANS — Seventeen years after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, the Military Corps of Engineers has accomplished an intensive system of floodgates, strengthened levees and different protections.
The 130-mile (210-kilometer) ring is designed to carry out storm surge of about 30 ft (9 meters) round New Orleans and suburbs in three parishes.
It’s “the most important civil works venture within the Corps’ historical past and is the results of practically twenty years of onerous work and collaboration on the native, state and federal stage,” Gov. John Bel Edwards mentioned throughout a symbolic handoff to the state Friday. “The individuals of New Orleans have skilled the worst Mom Nature has to supply, and with the completion of the system, they’ll be protected by the very best of engineering, design and hurricane safety.”
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1, and federal meteorologists predict it is going to be busy.
Congress supplied $14.5 billion for what’s formally known as the Hurricane and Storm Injury Danger Discount System and associated initiatives. It consists of two options the Corps describes because the world’s largest — a pumping station and a 1.8-mile (2.9-kilometer) barrier that may be closed in opposition to storm surges.
Louisiana pays $1.1 billion, the governor’s workplace mentioned in an e-mail Friday. It didn’t say whether or not that features curiosity.
The levees stood as much as Hurricane Ida in 2021, although some suburbs exterior the system flooded.
By 2011, the system may shield in opposition to a storm with a 1% probability of occurring in any given yr, in response to the Corps.
Options added since then embody armoring levees to forestall erosion and scouring when stronger storm surges rise above their tops, and three everlasting canal closures and pumps.
“We all know that ultimately we are going to face a surge larger than the 1-percent elevations so we designed the HSDRRS to be overtopped,” Col. Stephen Murphy, commander of the Corps’ New Orleans District, mentioned in a information launch. “With all the armoring now in place, this method enters the 2022 Hurricane Season stronger than it has ever been.”
The state has been taking management of the system for years as parts have been constructed, The Occasions-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate famous.
It mentioned upkeep and operation prices are anticipated to run about $25 million a yr for the Southeast Louisiana Flood Safety Authority-East and about $7.8 million yearly for its west financial institution counterpart.