New Orleans is still at severe risk from a serious flood, even though the Army Corps of Engineers has spent 2 years and $1 billion on the city's hurricane protection system. What's more, much of what's been done will benefit only wealthier neighborhoods. “We’re still with this damned patchwork quilt," says an engineering professor. The Times takes a look.
The city still doesn't have a system that would stand up to what the corps calls a "1-in-100" storm, and certainly not another Katrina, deemed a 1-in-396 storm. A system safe for 1-in-100 storms won't be completed until 2011 at the earliest and will cost at least $14 billion. Uncertainty prevails, endangering the future of the entire city.