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New Orleans’ levees got a $14.5 billion upgrade. Will they hold?

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Reuters

By Nathan Layne (Reuters) – Shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005, the city went to work on building a $14.5 billion system of gates, flood walls and levees that would protect it against another once-in-a-century storm. Its first big test came on Sunday, when Hurricane Ida, a ferocious Category 4 storm, plowed through the Gulf of Mexico into Louisiana. The storm’s torrential rain, powerful winds and surge waters – a potentially catastrophic combination – are precisely the kind of threat New Orleans officials hoped the 350-mile (560- km) defensive ring surrounding the c…

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