NEW ORLEANS — The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to allow independent experts to investigate debris such as tree trunks, a shopping cart, chunks of concrete and bricks found in levees protecting a densely populated suburban area of New Orleans, The Associated Press has reported.

U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said on Monday the Corps has agreed to bring in an independent team to review complaints by state and levee district engineers who charge the Corps has not done enough to ensure the levees will withstand powerful hurricanes.

The Corps is spending about $2 billion to protect the part of New Orleans called the West Bank. It is separated from the rest of the city by the Mississippi River and did not flood after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005.