Levee authority, corps in standoff over levee system

At monthly meetings of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority — East, the executive director conducts a surprising routine: He reports on the progress of construction on the $14.5 billion New Orleans levee system.

It’s remarkable because most people think the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished building the system almost two years ago, an impression the news media and the corps have helped spread.

Bob Turner’s reports, which can run to several pages, often include items not finished, not working properly or under repair in parts of the system that the corps says it has not only completed, but actually belong to the state.

This monthly exercise highlights a standoff between the state — the Flood Protection Authority and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority — and the corps over when ownership of the system transfers from the federal government to the state.

Read the full story in The Lens here.