The Times-Picayune: "Levee System Along River Held Its Ground In Storm"
From today's Times-Picayune: http://www.nola.com/news/t-p/frontpage/index.ssf?/base/news-4/1137999658140350.xml
The key point from the article:
"After the 1927 flood, the nation made a commitment never to let that happen again, so the design criteria (the corps) had was for the worst that could ever happen -- something that might not occur again for 400 to 450 years," said Al Naomi, a senior project manager at the New Orleans office. "In some (areas) the (river) levee was overbuilt, but that was done because the design criteria we were given was to build for the maximum possible flood.
"That wasn't the case with the hurricane protection project here."
The 1965 congressional authorization for the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity Hurricane Protection project was based on what the corps described in its 1962 planning document as the "standard project hurricane," which would have maximum sustained winds of 100 mph in a radius of 30 nautical miles, and a storm surge of 11.2 feet on the south shore of the lake. That translates approximately into a fast-moving Category 3 storm. The report said the probability of that occurring is once every 200 years.
There ya go . . .