Hurricane Isaac Tests Post-Katrina Levees

The storm's slow movement over southeast Louisiana is putting pressure on flood-protection systems. 

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Hurricane Isaac is moving very slowly over southeast Lousianna on Wednesday, and forecasters say the rainfall may not let up for days, the New York Times reports. The longer-lingering winds and rains mean more pressures on the levees and other flood-protection systems that have been fortified since Hurricane Katrina devastated the area seven years ago. They also represent a serious threat for those who didn't evacuate their homes before the storm hit:

The hurricane, which made its second landfall early Wednesday, was moving very slowly, at about 6 miles per hour near Houma, La., according to the National Weather Service, bringing with it the heightened risk of tornadoes and flash flooding hundreds of miles inland from Louisiana, and across Mississippi and Alabama to Florida.

Hurricane Isaac’s maximum sustained wind speeds have slowed from 80 miles per hour during the morning and are expected to weaken further as the system moves inland ...

In Plaquemines Parish, about 95 miles from New Orleans and where the hurricane first made landfall, water "overtopped" a levee, causing extensive flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

The levee is not one of the large, federally maintained earthworks lining the Mississippi River, but a locally maintained levee some 8 feet high, and lower than the 12-foot surge that hit it, according to officials from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Read more at the New York Times.

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