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Colorado firm’s work helping to protect New Orleans

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Story by: Boris Sanchez

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. -- As Tropical Storm Isaac rips through Louisiana, a Denver-based company is helping keep folks in the gulf safe from flooding.

ARCADIS, an engineering firm based out of Highlands Ranch, helped build major parts of the new flood control system that’s helping keep New Orleans from going underwater.

“What we saw with Katrina was basically a catastrophic failure across the whole system,” said Pete Dyke, the company’s CFO. “We basically started from scratch.”

ARCADIS, along with the Army Corps of Engineers, helped build not only levees -- but the world’s largest floodwater pumping station, known as the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway West Closure Complex.

“We can take 20,000 cubic feet of water per second, from the canals and the low lying areas, and pump that back into the gulf,” said Dyke, explaining that the system pumps eight million gallons of water a minute.

Dyke says Isaac is the system’s “first real test,” and that, so far, it’s worked without a hitch.

“I talked to one of the engineers this morning… It’s working how we expected it to,” said Dyke, who says he’s proud of the firm’s involvement in helping keep New Orleans safe.

“For many of our engineers and scientists that work on projects like this, they live in the area. It’s their homes, their families,” said Dyke. “To see it working -- It’s very rewarding.”

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