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American Forces Press Service

New Orleans Is Dry, Says Corps of Engineers

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 11, 2005 Sections of New Orleans that had been under water after levee-system failures following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are now dry, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokeswoman said here today.

"As of today, the city of New Orleans is dry," said Lauren Solis of the Corps' Task Force Hope that labored to dewater the Crescent City.

Large city pumps and auxiliary equipment brought in by specialists from Germany and the Netherlands were used to remove the water, Solis said.

About 80 percent of New Orleans became flooded after levees gave way Aug. 30, a day after Category 4 Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast. The Army engineers had almost finished pumping out the water from low-lying areas of the city when storm surge from Hurricane Rita, which arrived Sept. 24, defeated parts of the weakened levee system, flooding the city again.

"This has been a long, hard process, Solis said. Now, "the city can decide what to do with the formerly flooded areas," she noted.

Solis said temporary repairs to New Orleans' levees are complete. New Orleans' levees will be repaired to pre-Katrina levels of robustness by next June, she added.

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