flood protection

Paul Floro / Army Corps of Engineers

The Army Corps of Engineers held a public meeting to discuss a new project that will add fabric matting and natural grasses to the top of the levees along the lakefront. The design aims to protect from surges caused by a 100-year storm.

The Corps refers to this project as "armoring" the levees. The existing system is defined to withstand a hurricane with a 1 percent chance of occurring any given year: a "100-year storm." This armoring strategy is being put in place in case there’s an even stronger storm that breaches those levees.

The New Orleans City Council just passed the first new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance in 40 years. One part of the ordinance, Article 23, mandates a more “green” approach to water in the city — specifically, all the extra water we get from heavy rain and storms.

Bart Everson / Wikimedia Commons

There have been flash flood warnings for Southeast Louisiana this week. And while areas around town flood, the city of New Orleans is poised to pass a new zoning ordinance that will help with some of that water. But not all of it. 

Between 2-4 inches of rain are expected to fall over the next few days, and that makes it hard to do some basic things. Like get in your car.   

The Pentagon says three Louisiana companies have contracts worth up to $200 million in total to armor levees in the New Orleans area.

The Pentagon says Bis Services of Kenner, Circle of Belle Chasse, and Shavers-Whittle Construction of Mandeville, were among 10 companies that bid over the Internet.

Their contracts are with the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans. They were on a list of contracts released last night by the Pentagon.

The work is to be done by December 2020. The amount paid for each job will be decided individually.

A new levee board created to build flood protection projects in St. Tammany Parish is meeting for the first time today.

The nine commissioners of the St. Tammany Levee, Drainage and Conservation District will meet in Mandeville.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports the board is made up of gubernatorial appointees from communities throughout the parish.

The board was set up by the Legislature this year. It will work as other levee boards do in Louisiana — looking after the parish's flood control needs. As a political subdivision of the state, it has taxing authority.

Laine Kaplan-Levenson / WWNO

In January the New Orleans City Council will resume hearings on a new Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance. It’s been 40 years since the city was this close to revamping regulations on how things get built.

As part of the CZO, a group of city officials, engineers and landscape architects are pushing for a greener design for New Orleans. One that will help the city better manage its localized flooding.

The West Bank levee authority has made a deal for a temporary operator at the massive West Closure Complex hurricane protection system.

Nola.com/The Times-Picayune reports the authority approved $1.6 million to hire an operator while negotiations continue with local governments over cost sharing.

A company called Pump Station Operators will be responsible for operation and maintenance for one year. It has been involved with the pump station since its inception.

Jesse Hardman

WWNO’s Coastal Desk has been on tour, looking at water management in other cities. Austin and Philadelphia were the first stops. Now we’ll hear about the final city: Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

A delegation of New Orleans city officials and non-profit leaders recently headed to Wisconsin. They learned how Milwaukee, built as an industrial hub, has become one of the greenest big cities in the country.

The nominating committee for the South East Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East has made its selection to fill a slot on the levee board. They voted 7-3 a week ago to renominate Paul Kemp — a geologist in the Coastal Ecology Institute at LSU — who’s current term is expiring. 

The ball is back in Gov. Jindal’s court — he can accept or reject Kemp’s nomination or ask the state Senate to consider it — and the fate of the levee board’s lawsuit against oil and gas companies over damage to coastal wetlands hangs in the balance. 

Bob Marshall, reporter with The Lens in New Orleans, has been following all this.

The Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans is getting a little greener. On Thursday night the Board unveiled seven green infrastructure projects it’s partnering on that aim to improve community outreach and participation in the city’s water management.

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