Gulf of Mexico
Thomas Frank, E&E News

LA - Rebuilt New Orleans Levees Saved Lives and Property

The storm caused $65 million in damage across the U.S., according to the global reinsurance company Munich Re

Hurricane Ida, which cut a path of destruction from Louisiana to New York last year, is being recognized as one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history and the world’s costliest natural disaster in 2021.

But the Category 4 hurricane also is becoming a poster child for government spending on flood protection. Analysts say Ida would have caused much more damage and many more deaths if federal taxpayers had not spent $14 billion rebuilding and strengthening New Orleans-area levees after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A report this morning by Munich Re, the German-based global reinsurance company, says Ida caused $65 billion in damage but that the rebuilt levee system “withstood the storm surges, thereby preventing much higher losses.”

Hurricane Ida, which cut a path of destruction from Louisiana to New York last year, is being recognized as one of the most destructive storms in U.S. history and the world’s costliest natural disaster in 2021.

But the Category 4 hurricane also is becoming a poster child for government spending on flood protection. Analysts say Ida would have caused much more damage and many more deaths if federal taxpayers had not spent $14 billion rebuilding and strengthening New Orleans-area levees after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

A report this morning by Munich Re, the German-based global reinsurance company, says Ida caused $65 billion in damage but that the rebuilt levee system “withstood the storm surges, thereby preventing much higher losses.”

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