Judge: US govt. liable for some Katrina flooding

Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets near downtown New Orleans, La., on Aug. 30, 2005. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

A judge in Washington has ruled that federal authorities are liable for some of the catastrophic flooding that followed Hurricane Katrina and other storms - flooding blamed on a now-closed navigation channel.

How much the government will have to pay in damages is unclear. Judge Susan Braden of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington set a hearing for next Wednesday in New Orleans to determine whether an agreement can be reached to have damages assessed by a mediator.

Friday's ruling came in a 2005 lawsuit that focuses on the now-closed Mississippi River Gulf Outlet - a navigation canal built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and blamed by many for flooding in St. Bernard Parish and New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward following Katrina.
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