"Holding Back the Water"
Throughout the United States there are 2,487 levee systems and for the first time in history, an inventory of these flood control systems is underway. Louisiana is peppered with levees, providing a control mechanism for the Mississippi River and protection for its residents. Many levees are deemed to be in unacceptable condition in cities such as Washington D.C., Sacramento, and Cleveland. The Army Corps of Engineers determined that 326 levees, covering more than 2,000 miles, were in urgent need of repair. The Associated Press reports the reasons for the weakened levees are due to trees, shrubs, burrowing animal holes and houses that are constructed close to these structures and in some cases on top of the levees. The impact of Hurricane Katrina provided greater awareness to deteriorating levees