Half of New Orleans is at or above sea level according to the study by Tulane and Xavier universities’ Center for Bioenvironmental Research. The parts of the city that are several feet above sea level include, but are not limited to: the River Bend, Audubon/University, Uptown, the Garden District, the French Quarter, Treme, Bayou St. John, the Marigny, Bywater and the Lower Ninth Ward. The original residents settled on the high ground along the Mississippi River. Later developments eventually extended to nearby Lake Pontchartrian. Navigable commercial waterways extended from the lake to downtown. After 1940, the state decided to close these waterways since there was a new Industrial Canal for waterborne commerce. Once these waterways were closed, the water table was drastically lowered by the city’s drainage system and some areas settled several feet due to the consolidation of the underlying organic soils. After 1965, the US Army Corps built a levee system around a much larger geographic footprint that included previous marshland and swamp.
Half of New Orleans is at or well above sea level.
Source: Tulane and Xavier Universities
- The federal government’s study of the failed levee system during Katrina was convened and managed by the agency responsible for its performance – the Army Corps of Engineers.
Source: US Army Corps of Engineers
- The United States District Court in Louisiana placed responsibility of the collapse of the 17th Street and London Avenue Canals squarely on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Source: US District Court
The majority of the United States population lives in counties protected by levees.
The reported drive-by levee inspections pre-Katrina were irrelevant in the catastrophic flooding in New Orleans.
John McQuaid: To label the 2005 New Orleans Flood a natural disaster is a distortion. And it is quite convenient for those who screwed up
Source: Forbes Magazine