By CAIN BURDEAU
The Associated Press
Tuesday, March 22, 2011; 6:13 PM
BELLE CHASSE, La. -- The Army Corps of Engineers says it will meet its deadline after Hurricane Katrina to greatly improve the New Orleans area's hurricane-protection system by the start of the 2011 storm season.
Corps officials said Tuesday the agency was on track to meet the June 1 deadline to have New Orleans ready for a major hurricane - or what's known as a 100-year storm.
Officials said reaching the milestone will help New Orleans meet minimum standards for flood insurance coverage. The Corps continues work on bigger and more complex pieces, such as three large floodgates.
Once the Corps completes the $14 billion in work Congress authorized after Katrina, the system will be handed over to state and local agencies, which still will need money for routine upgrades.