Because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers didn’t have local data on how waves behave when they overtop levees and floodwalls in Louisiana, the agency relied on data from the Netherlands and California. Getting better local storm data would require expensive “hardened” gauges that can stand up to storm conditions.
Dredging at the mouth of Bayou St. John is nearly complete, with the sediment being used to anchor wetlands that will foster wildlife. The dam that was compared to a coronary blockage has been removed, allowing water to pass more freely. Proponents say the project shows how the city can live with the water around us, rather than fight it.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the state is responsible for each piece of the system when the corps says it's done. Local officials say that's like buying a car one piece at a time. Not far in the future, someone will have to pay to upgrade the system to deal with sinking land and rising seas.