The Army Corps of Engineers says billions of dollars of work since Hurricane Katrina has made the New Orleans area much safer, and upgraded levees will be able to withstand an attack from a storm of similar strength when the system is done next summer.
Since Katrina flooded New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, and killed more than 1,800 people, New Orleans has become a round-the-clock construction site. Congress gave the Army Corps more than $14 billion to upgrade the city's incomplete and inadequate levee system. The corps says about half the work is done, and the rest should be finished by next summer.
Col. Robert A. Sinkler, the corps official in charge of building up the hurricane protection system, says the work is on schedule and on budget.
Many locals — even the most vocal critics — and independent engineers agree the city's levee system is better.
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