Vast Defenses Now Shielding New Orleans

English: Landsat 7 image of New Orleans sittin...

English: Landsat 7 image of New Orleans sitting between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River. The city appears a pinkish shade in the April 26, 2000 image. The image uses the ETM+ bands 7, 4, and 2. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW ORLEANS — Finally, there is a wall around this city.

Nearly seven years after flood waters from Hurricane Katrina gushed over New Orleans, $14.5 billion worth of civil works designed to block such surges is now in place — a 133-mile chain of levees, flood walls, gates and pumps too vast to take in at once, except perhaps from space.

Individual components of the system can be appreciated from a less celestial elevation. At the new Seabrook floodgate complex, climb up three steep ladders, open a trap door, and step out into the blazing sunlight atop a 54-foot tower that was not here just two years ago. From there one looks out over a $165 million barrier across the shipping canal that links Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/15/us/vast-defenses-now-shielding-new-orleans.html?pagewanted=all

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