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Brewing tropical storm poses potential test for Louisiana flood infrastructure

from Slate

If it proceeds according to the models, Tropical Storm Barry will soon create an unprecedented situation in New Orleans — a cyclone-driven storm surge of two to three feet up a river running very high, lifting the water in the Mississippi River nearly to the top of the levees. At 19 feet above sea level, it would be the highest crest for the river in New Orleans since 1950. The river levees are built to withstand storm surge, but on the assumption that tropical storms would only coincide with a river eight feet high, half its current height. With the river above 16 feet, even a small surge is a frightening possibility. more


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