NEW ORLEANS -- Construction crews continued to work on the massive drainage project even as inclement weather approaches.
The Sewerage and Water Board is hopeful the new system will hold up to what could be over a foot of rain.
"The SELA project won't cause any flooding, in fact, it should have a significant beneficial impact," Sewerage and Water Board General Superintendent Joseph Becker said.
Tulane instructor Stephen Nelson said one thing that is sure to hold up will be the levee system.
Built mostly for hurricanes and storm surge, the strong winds and rising Mississippi River also raised a red flag for weather experts.
Nelson said that system is the best it's been in years.
"The entire system was rebuilt and reexamined after Katrina between 2007 and 2013," Nelson said. "There are still some parts that need to be finished."
The SELA project is a different story. It's still being completed in some area and those should see some relief from the nagging flooding issues.
Other areas will be in for a test. Once the project is complete, it will be able to move over 600-thousand gallons of water in a short time. To put that in perspective, it's like draining an Olympic size pool is just a few minutes.
HJ Bosworth with Levees.org has been studying the SELA project and said construction and weather preps tend to get complicated with heavy rainfalls.
"It's a difficult project," Bosworth said. "Here's a bunch of guys in a hole building a concrete box and on any given day they can have a two or three-inch rainfall and flood everything they are working with."
The entire project is set to be finished in 2018.