flood protection

New Orleans is facing the 2013 hurricane season behind a $14 billion system designed to protect the region from a 100-year storm.

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.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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.”

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is providing $19 million for flood mitigation efforts at nine sewerage pump stations in New Orleans.

Sen. Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a statement Friday that improving the sewerage infrastructure can help the city prepare for reduce the impact of a natural disaster.

The FEMA grant will pay for elevating and hardening the pump stations to prevent the kind of flood damage that occurred during hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.

Work is expected to begin in spring on construction of a sand dune barrier designed to protect Port Fourchon.

The Courier reports the Greater Lafourche Port Commission has approved a $3 million bid to build about a mile of dunes along the beach.

The dunes will be built up to a height of 10 feet and will be made of a textile tube core filled with slurry to form a solid base that can't be easily washed away by storm surge.

The construction bid was awarded to New Orleans-based Hamp's Construction.

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.

In the wake of major flooding during Hurricane Isaac, the St. John the Baptist Parish president is asking the Army Corps of Engineers to speed up plans for levees.

The Times-Picayune reports that Natalie Robottom has asked the corps to fast-track a decision on an alignment for a hurricane levee to protect the east banks of St. John and St. James parishes.

She recently went to Washington to make the parish's case.

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