Is New Orleans Better Protected from a Hurricane Since Katrina in 2005?

Tropical Weather Nola Levees

This map highlights the system of levees and flood walls that protect the New Orleans area.

New Orleans finds itself in the path of Hurricane Ida 16 years to the day after 2005’s Hurricane Katrina caused catastrophic flooding.

But Ida arrives at the doorstep of a region transformed since 2005 by a giant civil works project and closer attention to flood control.

The federal government spent $14.5 billion on levees and other infrastructure that protects New Orleans and surrounding areas.

Rainfall must be pumped out from inside the ring of levees. Drainage capacity has increased, but the city still struggles with an old pump system and often clogged drains.

Ap A La Usa Katrina Faulty Pumps

FILE – In this Saturday, March 10, 2007 file photo, Pumps put in place by the Army Corps of Engineers pump water from New Orleans’ 17th Street Canal to Lake Pontchartra in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Bill Haber, File)

Areas outside the urban core that the levee system protects may have little or no protection against storm surge.

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