Federal, state agencies to discuss conditions of pumps and levees

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The Business Council of New Orleans will host a presentation with federal and state agencies Wednesday.

The council will discuss the city's flood control capabilities and the conditions of pumps and levees.

One of the reasons for the presentation appears to be a report released last month by the Army Corps of Engineers.

In that report, the corps ranked the New Orleans levee system as "minimally acceptable."

At first glance, a rating of minimally acceptable may seem alarming, but the only classifications include acceptable, minimally acceptable and unacceptable.

The corps said there's no such thing as an "outstanding" rating anymore because they now take into account what's at stake in a 100-year weather event.

While they say New Orleans has a great system in place, they say there will one day be a storm stronger than its designed to protect.

The business council said the presentation is designed to bring clarity to the condition of area levees and pumps.

The corps is just one of the federal and state agencies that will be at the presentation.

"You cannot eliminate risk and to fully understand that risk, we have to fully understand what the levee system is designed to do, what it's not designed to do and what's behind that levee system," said Ricky Boyett with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. "What part of whose behind it, what people are there, how many people, what type of infrastructure and that has to be a consideration."

Wednesday's presentation will be open to the public but space will be limited. It will start at 9 a.m. in the offices of GNO INC.

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