New Orleans Levees Held — but Still Flawed

Industrial Canal, 9th Ward still vulnerable
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 2:50 AM CDT
The tidal surge and flooding from Hurricane Gustav around the bridge across the Rigolets in eastern New Orleans.    (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard)
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(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 spending $700 million on a canal barrier, but it won't be in place until at least 2011.

Another major weakness is in the West Bank area, home to some 250,000 residents. Still, levees "did much better this time," said an expert. "The great danger is that people will become complacent. Gustav should be a lesson that tells us we have to keep moving." (Read more Hurricane Gustav stories.)