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Levees in New Orleans Hold As Tropical Storm Lee Dumps Rain

The levees in New Orleans held up as Tropical Storm Lee dropped as much as 11 inches of rain and tested the new drainage and...
September 7, 2011

The levees in New Orleans held up as Tropical Storm Lee dropped as much as 11 inches of rain and tested the new drainage and pumping system that has been put in place since Hurricane Katrina flooded the city in August 2005. Approximately $10 billion has been spent to repair the flood control system. The new system can pump out an inch of water during the first hour of rainfall and a half inch each following hour. During the rainfall on September 3 and 4, the city's lowest points filled with water, but the street flooding in general was not greater than residents expect after every storm with significant rainfall.

Marcia St. Martin, executive director of the Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, said that the structures that were installed after Katrina to keep water from Lake Ponchartrain from flooding the city were closed on September 2. In the French Quarter, the highest and driest portion of the city, visitors in town for the week-long Southern Decadence Festival partied through the rain and wind, though attendance did falter on last-minute cancellations. Ken Graham, the meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service office in Slidell, Louisiana, said that remnants of Lee could continue dropping seven to ten inches of rain and cause flooding in an area extending from Mississippi and northern Alabama into the mountainous parts of Tennessee and North Carolina.

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