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Hurricane Georges A very massive group of levees may be all that is in the way of lower lying New Orleans and destruction with a visit from Hurricane Georges Without the levee system and concrete flood walls Georges could have catastrophic effects in New Orleans But with this man-made hurricane protection system protecting the city people New Orleans is spared the casualties and damage past storms have wrought The levee system is important because the city is like a saucer 6 feet below sea level and is surrounded by lakes swamps marshes and the Mississippi River The fact is we are living in a large shallow bowl with a levee around it said Oliver Houck a Tulane University law professor whose major is water resources The New Orleans area and location have allowed hurricanes and floods to prey on its residents since as early as 1718 A year after New Orleans was laid out a low levee had to be constructed As the city grew the need for a better levee system has been a lasting issue The levees were built taller and stronger but hurricanes in 1915 and 1947 flooded the city killing about 200 and 47 people The current hurricane protection system was approved by Congress in 1965 after Hurricane Betsy killed 81 people in southern Louisiana Hundreds of millions of dollars has produced what may be the worlds most elaborate flood protection system said Jim Addison chief of public affairs for the US Army Corps of Engineers New Orleans District which builds and monitors the levees The levees along the south shore of Lake Pontchartrain and other key areas are designed to protect the city from a fast-moving hurricane of Georges power The
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