After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005, the Corps immediately sought answers to questions about the New Orleans Hurricane Protection System. In response, the Corps established the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET). IWR was designated as co-leader of the interior flood control and consequences assessment sub-teams. Corps leadership also commissioned IWR to organize the Hurricane Protection Decision Chronology (HPDC). This study was designed to assemble and document the chronology of planning, economic, policy, legislative, institutional and financial decisions that influenced the hurricane protection system of Greater New Orleans.
IWR completed its portions of the IPET investigation in 2007, releasing “Volume VI: The Performance — Interior Drainage and Pumping” and “Volume VII: The Consequences.” In 2008 the HPDC investigation culminated in the publication of the final report, Decision-Making Chronology for the Lake Pontchartrain & Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project, and its source documents. The report provided an explanation of the decision-making related to protective structures, thereby complementing the engineering studies undertaken in the IPET work. These investigations helped the Corps to understand why the events related to Hurricane Katrina took place and, in turn, how to better prepare the Nation and its water resources infrastructure for catastrophic events.