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Will the 'Great Wall' of New Orleans Save It From the Next Killer Hurricane? | TakePart

The Corps’ $14.5 billion solution to protect a city that sits below sea level? Go medieval.

Today, a decade after Katrina left 80 percent of New Orleans underwater and killed more than 1,600 people, the Big Easy has been reconstructed as a walled city. The  Lake Borgne Surge Barrier is just one of a series of gargantuan structures and reinforced levees and floodwalls designed to defend the city against a 100-year storm—a Katrina-like catastrophe that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year. This feat of engineering, prosaically called the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System, forms a 133-mile enclosure around New Orleans and the 350 miles of canals that traverse the city—the canals the Corps had relied on to contain floods and that failed so disastrously in 2005. “We’re taking the fight to the storm instead of letting it come to us,” says Boyett.
Map: Courtesy Google Maps; Photo: ASCE/Facebook; Infographic: Marc Fusco

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