$600 million flood protection content halfway finished

$600 million flood protection content halfway finished

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - The canals were pathways to massive hurricane flooding during Katrina, and work to keep that from ever happening again is moving forward at the place where the major canals meet Lake Pontchartrain.

"We are about 50 percent complete and what we're doing now is placing the form suction intakes which will draw water into the pump station," Sgt. Lt. Austin Appleton said.

The Corps of Engineers is spending over $600 million to build permanent canal closures and pumps to replace temporary pumps and floodgates at the mouths of the canals.

"They will come online at the same time. There's construction at all three sites and the schedule is moving forward depending on the needs of each site," Appleton said.

The pump suction intakes weigh 70,000 pounds and will be dropped in Tuesday.

The new pumps will be housed in huge buildings that are changing the landscape.

The one at the mouth of the 17th Street canal has prompted some boat house owners to sell. Corps officials say steps have been taken to minimize noise. Pile driving occurs only during daylight hours and trucks take designated routes.

"Our noise mitigation team has been successful. There have been few complaints," Appleton said.

In the meantime, temporary floodgates are fully functional to keep potentially devastating tidal surge out of the canals during tropical weather.

The Corps says these unique permanent structures will provide a measure of protection never before seen here.

And their goal is to have all of them finished in time for the 2017 hurricane season.

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