The system with dikes of $ 14 billion built around New Orleans is already sinking

The $ 14 billion system of dikes and floodwalls built around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina less than a year after it was completed

  • Army Corps of Engineers said this month that the dikes of New Orleans are sinking
  • Warned that 100 years of flood protection by 2023 could be compromised
  • Proposed to conduct a study to see if the costs of improvements are worth it
  • The costs can be & # 39; hundreds of millions & # 39; amounts, with most from federal taxpayers
  • Dykes were completed only 11 months ago for an amount of $ 14 billion

The $ 14 billion system of dikes and floodwalls built around New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was already sinking, just 11 months after it was completed, experts said.

The Army Corps of Engineers said earlier this month in an impact study report that the flood control system could lose its intended skill against a 100-year flood by 2023.

The agency said it was concerned about & # 39; weak soils, general subsidence, and the global incidence of sea level rise causing future dikes to need elevators to support performance & # 39 ;.

The Corps of Engineers said it should investigate whether it would be worthwhile to undertake a costly project to lift hundreds of miles of flood defenses protecting New Orleans.

A map shows the hundreds of miles of dikes that protect New Orleans in red. The Army Corps of Engineers says the dikes are already sinking

A map shows the hundreds of miles of dikes that protect New Orleans in red. The Army Corps of Engineers says the dikes are already sinking

The Lower Ninth Ward is located next to the repaired industrial canal wall in 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A new report suggests that the dikes are falling faster than expected

The Lower Ninth Ward is located next to the repaired industrial canal wall in 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A new report suggests that the dikes are falling faster than expected

The Lower Ninth Ward is located next to the repaired industrial canal wall in 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. A new report suggests that the dikes are falling faster than expected

& # 39; These systems that may have previously protected us can no longer protect us without modification & # 39 ;, Emily Vuxton, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, an environmental group, told Scientific American.

She said repair costs & hundreds of millions & # 39; could be dollars, with 75 percent paid by federal taxpayers.

& # 39; I think this work is necessary. We need to protect the people of New Orleans, & Vuxton said.

Corps officials will not have an estimate of what exactly is needed or how much it will cost before their reports are completed.

The existing dike ring system was built at the expense of taxpayers in the years after about 1800 died in Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Lower Ninth Ward for the industrial canal is seen after the destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2006 (left) and after the recovery in 2015 (right)

An elevation map shows the areas of New Orleans above sea level in red, yellow and green, and those below sea level in blue

An elevation map shows the areas of New Orleans above sea level in red, yellow and green, and those below sea level in blue

An elevation map shows the areas of New Orleans above sea level in red, yellow and green, and those below sea level in blue

It is designed to protect against a flood level that has a 1 percent chance of a certain year, a so-called 100-year flood.

This level of protection is required for real estate behind the flood defenses to participate in the National Flood Insurance Program.

In 2023, the dikes must be recertified because they still offer that level of protection, or the houses behind them run the risk of not being covered.

In its April 2 announcement in the Federal Register, the Army Corps of Engineers said that & # 39; absent dikes in the future to compensate for consolidation, settlement, subsidence and sea level rise, the risk to life and property in Greater New Orleans area will gradually increase. & # 39;

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