National Academy of Engineering says there's no way to fully protect New Orleans
May 20, 2009

The National Academy of Engineering has issued a report which cautions that not only is it impossible to protect New Orleans from future hurricane and flooding disasters by the use of floodwalls and levees, but that the public has been given an unreasonably optimistic impression that the systems put into place since Hurricane Katrina will be enough to protect the city in case of a future disaster. There is, of course, a lot that can be done via the use of massive stormwater pumps that can move half a million gallons of water per minute and massive flood gates to mitigate the impact of an "ordinary" hurricane or flood. But storms like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Camille can overwhelm even extraordinary man-made defenses, and future hurricanes in the region are inevitable.

May 2009
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last revised May 2009