Hurricane Isaac Puts New Orleans Drainage System to the Test

Seven years ago, Hurricane Katrina breeched New Orleans’ levees causing flooding in about 80% of the city. However, New Orleans now boosts a new $14.5 billion flood protection system designed for a 100-year storm. The system consists of 563 kilometers (350 miles) of levees, floodwalls, floodgates, surge barriers, and pump stations. The Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier is nearly 3.2 kilometers (2 miles) long and is the largest barrier of its kind in the world. According to news sources, floodgates, numbering 73, are designed to withstand a Category Three hurricane.  Within New Orleans alone, the system contains 24 pumping systems, which can move more than 110 billion liters (29 billion gallons) per day. Read more.

The Water Environment Federation will hold WEFTEC® 2012 in New Orleans. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex, part of the New Orleans Drainage System.

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