The Federal Emergency Management Agency has released flood guidance that will allow rebuilding in almost all of New Orleans, even though homes and other structures must be elevated by at least three feet to qualify for federal flood insurance."FEMA strongly recommends [that] communities build higher and stronger to reduce vulnerability from flooding during hurricanes," a flood insurance official said. Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco said the long-awaited flood guidance is a "crucial element for residents determining how to rebuild their homes." Meanwhile, the Bush administration reduced its estimates for repairing and fortifying the levees in southeastern Louisiana, concluding that only $4.1 billion in additional funding is needed. Donald Powell, the president's coordinator for Gulf Coast rebuilding, said the administration will ask Congress for $2.5 billion to ensure completion of the levees around New Orleans. The improvements should provide flood protection for 98% of the population in the New Orleans area, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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