46 Urb. Law. 753 (2014)
The Power of Eminent Domain in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: Should Common Interest Communities Be Compensated for the Loss of Assessments

handle is hein.journals/urban46 and id is 779 raw text is: The Power of Eminent Domain in the
Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: Should
Common Interest Communities Be
Compensated for the Loss of Assessments?
James R. Conde*
I. Introduction
IN 2005, HURRICANE KATRINA FLOODED NEW ORLEANS and destroyed ap-
proximately 80% of the city's housing stock.' The New Orleans flood
generated a corresponding flood of litigation against the Army Corps
of Engineers (the Corps). In a class action lawsuit, residents of the
greater New Orleans area alleged inter alia that the Corps was negli-
gent in the construction and maintenance of the city's levees, canals,
and other navigational channels,2 which rendered the City vulnerable
to flooding.3 As the district court found in its consolidated order, while
the City canals serve[d] as conduits for the drainage of excess water
from the streets of New Orleans during rain events, these same canals
bec[a]me channels for incoming storm surge during hurricanes.4
The 17th Street Canal, originally built by the Sewerage and Water
Board of the City of New Orleans, and later modified by the Corps,
was one of several outfall canal conduits at issue in the class action liti-
gation.5 The district court found that serious flaws in the construction and
design of the 17th Canal levees and floodwalls caused extensive property
* J.D. Candidate, George Mason School of Law.
1. In Re Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Lit., 533 F.Supp. 2d 615, 618 (E.D.
La. 2008), aff'd, 673 F.3d 381 (5th Cir. 2012), cert. denied sub nom., Lattimore v.
United States, 133 S.Ct 2855 (2013) [hereinafter Katrina I].
2. Id. (consolidating orders dismissing in part, striking in part, and granting leave to
amend in part, claims concerning the flooding of 80% of the City of New Orleans
caused by breaches in the 17th Street Canal, London Avenue Canal, the Orleans Ave-
nue Canal and [the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet].).
3. See In Re Katrina Canal Breaches Consolidated Lit., 647 F. Supp. 2d 644, 697
(E.D. La. 2009) (finding that the Corp's negligent failure to maintain and operate the
[Mississippi River Gulf Outlet] was a substantial cause for the breaching of the Reach
2 Levee and the subsequent catastrophic flooding), aff'd, 673 F.3d 381, (5th Cir.
2012), cert. denied sub nom., Lattimore v. United States, 133 S.Ct 2855 (2013) [here-
inafter Katrina II].
4. Katrina 1, 533 F. Supp. 2d, at 618-19.
5. See id. at 623 n.9.

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