Thursday, April 19, 2007

The Corps is at it again.

The Corps giveth and the Corps takes away.

Some 1,800 feet of concrete-capped floodwall along the west side of the 17th Street Canal is anchored by steel sheet pilings driven into the levee only 4.5 feet below sea level, making them 13 feet shorter than pilings that failed south of Hammond Highway during Hurricane Katrina and contributed to massive flooding in the city.

Just across the canal on the New Orleans side, where the Army Corps of Engineers soon plans to raise and widen the levee in the Veterans Memorial Boulevard area to help better defend against another failure, sheet pilings range from five to 14 feet deep, according to figures provided by the corps.

But corps engineers say the shallow sheeting poses no threat because water in the canal won't be allowed this storm season to rise against the floodwalls as it did with catastrophic results during Katrina, but will instead be restricted to a so-called "safe" elevation, which is tentatively set at six feet.

Yeah, not that the untested and defective pumps are in place, we can scant a bit on the expenses and shortchange N.O. on the sheet pilings.

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