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.