Much of our City lies in a flood plain. We are guarded by a flood wall that keeps the Mississippi River out when it floods, as it did in 1993 and 1995. But, the flood wall is old and needs attention.
The federal government recommended we clear out trees and bushes within 25 feet of the flood wall, which runs for 11 miles. Acting on a recommendation from the Army Corps of Engineers, I have sent City work crews to clear out the area within 50 feet of the flood wall to prevent tree and bush roots from undermining the flood wall and earthen levee. They will be finished in two weeks.
We also have set aside $6 million for our share of the $17 million it will take to make repairs to the flood wall itself. The rest of the money will come from the federal government once Congress acts.
The hard lesson of Katrina is that prevention is a better alternative than rebuilding.