hurricane and storm damage risk reduction system

Army Corp of Engineers

The levees that protect New Orleans are sinking, just as officials knew they would. The Army Corps is doing a study to figure out what repairs are needed. On Tuesday the agency held several public meetings on the process.

The Corps and local levee authorities built a $14 billion Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) around the city after Hurricane Katrina. Because of the soft soil the levees were built on, they’re naturally sinking. Sea level rise also poses a risk.

US Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers has a system for classifying river and hurricane levees across the country. On Thursday, officials announced the final classifications for Southeast Louisiana. From Baton Rouge to New Orleans levee systems are considered “Moderate to High Risk.”

Though that may sound concerning, the Army Corps stresses that these classifications are not safety ratings. New Orleans District commander Colonel Mike Clancy says the levees themselves are in good shape.