Hurricane Rita caused significant flooding and damage to smaller coastal communities in Texas and southwest Louisiana Saturday morning and while it wasn't over yet, Rita left the great population and energy producing centers of Houston and Galveston in better shape than expected.
New Orleans had some levee overflow and additional flooding, but it sounds a bit better than they'd hoped.
In New Orleans, where flooding continued Saturday after water gushed over the top of some of the city's levees, a steady rain fell through the night, subsiding in the morning. It was still too windy to get helicopters up to begin dropping sand bags in temporary levees, however.
"Overall, it looks like New Orleans has lucked out in that they didn't get the heaviest rainfall," said National Weather Service meteorologist Phil Grigsby.
Farther north, water six to eight inches deep was streaming into homes south of Lake Pontchartrain, spouting from beneath two gravel-and-rock patches on the London Avenue Canal levee, wire services said. Corps engineers said they expected the leaks.
The problems would set back levee repairs at least three weeks, Wagenaar said, but June is still the target for getting them back to pre-Katrina strength.
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