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August 25th, 2010
09:24 AM ET

Skeptics worry about post-Katrina levees

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

The Army Corps of Engineers says improved walls, levees are much stronger than when Hurricane Katrina hit.

The Army Corps of Engineers says improved walls, levees are much stronger than when Hurricane Katrina hit.

Editor's note: Were government promises to rebuild New Orleans kept? CNN's Anderson Cooper returns to the Gulf Coast to see what has changed since Hurricane Katrina. Don't miss "In Katrina's Wake," an "AC360°" special at 10 p.m. ET Thursday on CNN.

New Orleans, Louisiana (CNN) - We're cutting across the open water to the steady growl of a Coast Guard boat's twin engines. The heat index is somewhere between 100 and 1,000 degrees. Sure, you could cook an egg on the deck, but in this heat who'd want to?

It seems about right, since I've come to see what spurred some of the hottest words in the whole post-Katrina blame game: the flood protection system. Specifically, I'm here to look at the improvements that have been made since the storm, and to say they are substantial would be like saying the Superdome is a nice-size room.

Col. Robert Sinkler chats easily as we travel toward cranes, pilings, and massive concrete structures buzzing with workers in the ridiculous heat. "We're doing about 15 to 20 years of construction work in about 36 months," says Sinkler, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Office.

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Filed under: Hurricane Katrina • New Orleans • Tom Foreman
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. teresa, ohio

    "We're doing about 15 to 20 years of construction work in about 36 months," says Sinkler, commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Hurricane Protection Office. That cant be good.... If what would normally take that long could be done in 3 yrs., how good can it really be?

    When / if it fails will we say: gee, we had to do a rush job and probably didnt follow safety standards. Why would we take 15 yrs., when a COMPARABLE job could be done in 3? what gives.

    i dont know anything about the levees before or these levees but people need to have a better plan in place to evacuate asap. We cant count on the levees 100% to spare our people.

    At ANY costs to the govt and people, the motto should be down there: never again.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  2. Augsbee

    You take a chance when you live along the sea, can't expect a city to be completely protected from a Hurricane, it could happen again.

    August 25, 2010 at 11:03 am |

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