Gaps in aging levees leave D.C. landmarks exposed

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Strolling beside the Reflecting Pool with the Lincoln Memorial in the distance, it's easy to overlook a gentle rise in the landscape a few yards to the north.

The small berm is part of an inconspicuous levee system designed to protect world-famous museums, the National Archives and federal office buildings from flooding.

But the nearly 70-year-old levee is at risk of failing during a major storm — a catastrophe that could swamp portions of downtown in up to 10 feet of water and cause $200 million in damages, according to federal officials.

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