The Army Corps of Engineers has approved the third and final phase of the St. Charles west bank hurricane levee, which means all three phases of the levee project have corps approval to move toward construction.
At the St. Charles Parish Council meeting on Monday night, Parish President V.J. St. Pierre said the Corps of Engineers approved a permit green-lighting the design and construction of Phase III Ellington, the last permit necessary to authorize the project. The other two phases had already been approved.
Metro area residents probably know stories about consumers with big eyes and small wallets who become “house poor.” But in the years ahead they may become familiar with a new, more frightening term: “levee poor.”
A Baton Rouge company has a $44.8 million, 48-month contract for concrete-covered canals along two New Orleans streets.
The Army Corps of Engineers says the canals will reduce the risk of damages from the equivalent of about nine inches of rain over 24 hours. Such storms have a 10 percent chance of happening in any given year.
Cajun Constructors Inc. has the contract for about 3,700 feet of canal along Jefferson Avenue between Dryades and Constance streets, and another 1,300 feet along Prytania Street between Nashville and Jefferson avenues.
The Army Corps of Engineers says a federal levee designed to protect Terrebonne Parish and parts of Lafourche Parish from storm flooding will cost $12.9 billion. State and local officials would have to come up with 35 percent, or up to $4.5 billion.
The plan released Friday includes 36 additional miles of levee, extending the Morganza project from U.S. 90 in Gibson to Louisiana Highway 1 in Lockport.
The corps plans a meeting about it Jan. 31 at the Houma Municipal Auditorium.
University of New Orleans professor Norma Jean Mattei chairs the university's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She has studied flood-prone areas of the city, and knows the importance of the Mississippi River — for everything from flood protection to commerce and the environment.
Which is why President Barack Obama has nominated her to join the Mississippi River Commission.
Landowners interested in selling property to help Louisiana and federal coastal forest conservation efforts have until Friday to apply for part of the $7.4 million available in the second round of applications.
Bren Haase, deputy chief of planning with the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, tells The Advocate the Coastal Forest Conservation Initiative's goal is to protect coastal forest areas not only for the habitat they provide but also for their ability to hamper storm surge from tropical storms.