(Orange, Texas)

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November 27, 2012

Big bill for levee upkeep comes to New Orleans



Already, lightning has knocked out chunks of wall. Grass hasn't grown well on several new stretches of levee. Louisiana State University grass experts have been called in to help seed them.

There are recurring problems with vibrations and shuddering on a new floodgate at Bayou Dupre in St. Bernard Parish. The corps has plans to overhaul the structure in the spring before handing it over to local control. And there will be the inevitable sinking of levees and structures, as always happens in south Louisiana's naturally soft soils. Over time, levees will have to be raised.

Col. Ed Fleming, the New Orleans corps commander, said his outfit will work to ensure the transition to local control is smooth.

"This happens with corps civil projects all over the country. That's the way it works in Iraq, Afghanistan," he said. "We have authority to build, but we have no authority to do operations and maintenance."

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