levees

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Hundreds of US Levees Decrepit, Dangerous

Army Corps of Engineers finds trouble in survey of system

(Newser) - Apparently Hurricane Katrina wasn't enough to make America fix its levee system. Seven years after that disaster, hundreds of America's levees are poised to fail, the AP reports, based on an early look at the US Army Corps of Engineers' first ever inventory of the nationwide flood control... More »

In One Louisiana Parish, Isaac as Brutal as Katrina

Plaquemines Parish's levees overrun

(Newser) - Today is the 7th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and for residents of Plaquemines Parish, it's deja vu all over again, according to the parish president. Billy Nungesser tells NPR that the parish, located some 95 miles from New Orleans, has already seen damage that rivals, and could even surpass,... More »

Makeshift Levees Protect Homes From Flooding

Mississippi residents take matters into their own hands

(Newser) - Some homeowners are putting up a fight against the mighty Mississippi and its tributaries, notes Popular Science . The AP and Getty have remarkable images of homes near Vicksburg shielded by makeshift levees. It's "a testament to the human instinct to protect hearth and home," notes Clay Dillow.... More »

Disaster Slowly Flowing Down the Mississippi River

Disaster areas declared as Big Muddy reaches record levels

(Newser) - A slow-moving disaster is making its way down the Mississippi River. Authorities fear that floodwaters will exceed records set during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, one of the greatest natural disasters in American history. Tributaries that flow into the Mississippi are already backing up, and disaster areas have been... More »

Corps Blasts Through Missouri Levee

US Supreme Court rejects Missouri's request to halt operation

(Newser) - The Army Corps of Engineers lit up the Missouri skyline last night, blowing a two-mile gap in a levee, and activating a 1920s flood plan that has not been used since 1937. The explosions along the levee near drenched Cairo caused water to gush over prime farmland, the Wall Street ... More »

River Overflows Missouri Levee; Collapse Feared

Severe storms won't let up in soaked Ohio, Miss. River valleys

(Newser) - Thousands of southeastern Missouri residents watched helplessly today as Black River water crept toward their homes after overflowing the levee protecting their town, as officials predicted a "catastrophic failure." Several homes in and around Poplar Bluff were partially submerged, while water filled the front yards of other houses.... More »

Wisconsin Levee Crumbles

Total failure of 120-year-old system threatens 100 homes

(Newser) - A 120-year-old levee along the Wisconsin River has failed, officials confirmed for CNN , following record flooding. Hundreds of Wisconsin residents fled their homes yesterday after Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources predicted "imminent" total failure of the 14-mile system. An emergency worker said late yesterday that flooding in a particularly... More »

Obama: 'New Orleans Is Coming Back'

President pledges to complete levees, stick with region

(Newser) - President Obama arrived in New Orleans today to mark the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and pledged to stick with the Gulf Coast until rebuilding is complete. In a speech at Xavier University, soon to be back in operation after being devastated by floodwaters, he called the city a “... More »

It's Official: New Orleans Will Never Be the Same

(Newser) - Even if the government somehow managed to re-create pre-Katrina New Orleans, it couldn't guarantee the safety of the city and its residents, according to a new report. The Army Corps of Engineers is rebuilding levees in anticipation of a “100-year storm,” but for a city of New Orleans’... More »

Fargo Braces for Snow as Floods Ease

Winter weather could cause waves to batter sandbag levees

(Newser) - Just as the Red River began retreating from Fargo's hastily fortified levees, the city's tired residents stared down a winter storm today that's expected to bring up to 14 inches of snow and wind-whipped waves that could worsen the flooding, the AP reports. Engineers aren't worried about the snowfall, but... More »

More Levees Doomed: Fargo Mayor

(Newser) - The bloated Red River briefly breached a dike early today, pouring water into a school campus in Fargo, ND. The mayor called it a "wakeup call" for a city that needs to be vigilant for weaknesses in levees that could give way at any time. "The campus is... More »

Little Progress on At-Risk Levees: Feds

State and local governments have done little despite post-Katrina crackdown

(Newser) - More than half the 122 US levees cited for being in disrepair after Hurricane Katrina still need to be fixed, according to Army Corps of Engineers data obtained by USA Today—with 18 states and Puerto Rico having levees considered unreliable in major floods. The worst offenders are Washington and... More »

New Orleans Levees Held — but Still Flawed

Industrial Canal, 9th Ward still vulnerable

(Newser) - New Orleans' levee system withstood the power punch delivered yesterday by Hurricane Gustav, but also revealed its continuing vulnerabilities, reports AP. The Industrial Canal flood wall was swamped, flooding again an area devastated by Katrina. The Industrial Canal is considered the system's Achilles' heel. The Army Corps of Engineers is... More »

'Ghost Town' New Orleans Steels for Gustav

3 die in biggest evacuation in Louisiana history

(Newser) - The last bus out of New Orleans drove off at 3pm yesterday, leaving behind a virtual ghost town, reports the Houston Chronicle. An estimated 10,000 residents are left in the hurricane-threatened city, now subject to a strict dusk-to-dawn curfew. Some 1.9 million Louisianans have fled Hurricane Gustav—the... More »

Big Easy Not Ready for '100-Year Storm'

Official says city is up to pre-Katrina levels, but unprepared for bigger disaster

(Newser) - With Hurricane Gustav set to thrash the Big Easy almost exactly 3 years after Katrina, Newsweek sits down with New Orleans Levee District executive director Stevan Spencer to find out what will change this time around. “We are better than before Katrina —we've raised the levees and strengthened... More »

New Orleans Braces for Gustav With Still-Weak Shield

Governor warns evacuations could start tomorrow

(Newser) - A nervous New Orleans is bracing for Gustav, well aware that weak spots in the city's hurricane barrier could lead to catastrophic flooding if the storm strikes, reports the Times-Picayune. Some $13 billion in work remains to be done before the city can be considered relatively well-protected. Louisiana Gov. Bobby... More »

Levee Breaks Near Eastern Mo. Town

Sandbags best hope to save homes

(Newser) - A levee failed today in eastern Missouri, but emergency workers say they think an impromptu sandbag levee can save the nearby town. The breach about 5 am in the Pin Oak levee at a spot just south of Winfield slowly began to flood about 3,000 acres. The Army Corps... More »

What to Do With the Sandbags?

Less adrenaline, more toil ahead for Midwesterners

(Newser) - Sandbags were saviors for many in the Midwest flooding—but as the waters recede, the hefty lumps remain, often weighed down by all the toxins in the water, the Washington Post reports. Bags can weigh 60-80 pounds even when dry, so heaving one after another to the curb for pickup... More »

Midwest Braces for Mississippi Crest

River expected to hit high point today

(Newser) - Deluged midwesterners were preparing for tonight’s expected cresting of the Mississippi River, piling up sandbags to support levees, USA Today reports. Some residents have already moved to higher ground, while others are staying home to guard against looters. The river is likely to crest at a number of areas... More »

Ragtag Levees Leave Midwest Soaking

Locals and towns run disorganized barrier system

(Newser) - As the Midwest battles massive flooding, the New York Times looks at the region's patchwork of homemade levees—which fail to meet federal standards and tend to spring unexpected leaks. Bill Clinton's White House advised a uniform levy system 15 years ago, but the report was read and forgotten. “... More »

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