Advocate Washington bureau
September 14, 2012
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers agreed Wednesday to conduct an independent analysis as to whether, and to what extent, the upgraded hurricane protection system for the New Orleans area contributed to greater flooding in surrounding areas.
Sen. David Vitter, R-La., first requested the third-party review from the Corps in the wake of Hurricane Isaac as certain areas in parishes like Plaquemines and St. John the Baptist received more flooding than from Hurricane Katrina.
The corps confirmed the Louisiana Water Resources Council will conduct the review.
The question is whether the storm created a funnel effect and pushed more water from areas like Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas into less-protected regions.
“I’m very pleased the corps will heed our advice to get an independent review,” Vitter said in a prepared statement.
“The additional input and expert analysis will help us better determine the best steps forward on flood protection for all areas inside and outside of the post-Katrina system.”
Vitter and the state also have asked the Baton Rouge-based Water Institute of the Gulf to investigate the matter.