Parts of New Orleans flood again

Friday, September 23, 2005

Rain and the storm surge from Hurricane Rita have overwhelmed one of the fragile levees in New Orleans. The Industrial Canal levee gave way, reflooding parts of the Ninth Ward. There are three significant breaches.

"Our worst fears came true," said Maj. Barry Guidry of the Georgia National Guard.

"We have three significant breaches in the levee and the water is rising rapidly," he said. "At daybreak I found substantial breaks and they've grown larger."

The U.S. Corps of Engineers estimated that 6 inches of rainfall could breach the previously damaged levees. The Ninth Ward, which saw flooding as high as 20 feet during Hurricane Katrina, is currently in waist-high water as the nearby levee was overtopped. Water is spilling over the levee in a section 100 feet wide.

The Gentilly neighborhood has water accumulations of 6 to 8 inches deep as the patched London Avenue Canal has sprung leaks near its base.