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Isaac renews debate about Louisiana levees: Is it worth billions to build them in rural areas? | Washington Post

Eric Gay/Associated Press
When Hurricane Isaac whirled into the Gulf Coast this week, the federal levee system protecting New Orleans did its job. But the patchwork of floodwalls shielding subdivisions outside the city and rural fishing and farming communities was no match for the drenching storm.

In June, the corps scrapped plans to build a $1 billion levee system to protect areas between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche southwest of New Orleans. The agency said it could not find an economically feasible way to build levees or raise enough homes to guard parts of nine parishes against a storm with a mere 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year, also known as 100-year protection...

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