Sunday, September 12, 2010

Levee Improvements 'Almost' Here, Corps says

The Army Corps of Engineers has promised for five years that New Orleans would be ready to withstand a major hurricane by the year 2012. That seemed a long way off and a lot to ask people to wait who were doing everything possible to rebuild homes and lives in the meantime.

Three massive, 20-ft. pumps with 143,000 gallons-per-second capacity were installed last week on the city's West Bank to stop storm surges from the Harvey and Algiers canals. According to the Times-Picayune, the pumps will be able to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool within five seconds. That sounds impressive :-} Installation of three more pumps was scheduled for this week and the remaining five are still at the factory - the check is in the mail?

Kenny Crumholt, an Army Corps of Engineers supervisor said the project will be far enough along to "provide protection from a 100-year storm by the peak of the 2011 hurricane season," reported the Times-Pic. At the moment, though, engineers are trying to figure out why 5,400-horsepower diesel engines are overheating - sigh.

The West Bank levee authority is expected to pay the $5 million annual cost of operating and maintaining the equipment unless Congress says the corps must.

Four stadium towers with lights were built to allow 1,000 workers to toil 24/7 to get the project done. Meanwhile, today reports Tropical Depression 12 has formed and Hurricane Igor has reached category two in strength.

Here's what they looked like before Katrina:

And the model system built by the Dutch.

Read a transcript from PRI's "The World," comparing the two systems.

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