flood protection

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.

Engineer: Excavation caused Katrina collapse

Sep 18, 2012

An engineering expert has testified he believes excavation work performed by an Army Corps of Engineers contractor caused New Orleans' floodwalls to breach in two places during Hurricane Katrina.

Robert Bea, a retired University of California engineering professor, explained his position Monday during a trial of homeowners' claims against the corps and contractor Washington Group International Inc.

Bea is an expert witness for the plaintiffs.

The two-lane stretch of Louisiana Highway 1 that cuts through the marshes of south Lafourche Parish is the only road to Port Fourchon, the oil and gas hub that serves 90 percent of deepwater petroleum operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

When the highway is closed because of high water, as it was for three days during Hurricane Isaac, the industry takes an economic hit.

But, as The Advocate reports, each new storm brings with it the fear that the highway may wash away.

The westbound lanes on South Claiborne Ave. between Cambronne St. in Orleans Parish and Dakin St. in Jefferson Parish will close for two years, the City of New Orleans said today in a press release.

The closure, set to begin Sept. 17, is due to work being conducted on the drainage system beneath the street and neutral ground. Motorists will be detoured onto the eastbound lanes of South Claiborne.

Ascension Parish government officials say a proposed Mississippi River diversion project in St. James Parish may be a way to blunt the kind of high storm surge seen after Hurricane Isaac.

The Advocate reports parish officials would like the diversion project planned near Romeville to be reversible as part of a broader flood protection plan in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

Under that concept, water would flow not only from the Mississippi into the Maurepas Swamp, but also from the swamp into the river in times of high water in the lake basin.

The Army Corps of Engineers has awarded a contract to improve drainage at the Trapp Canal on the west bank of Jefferson Parish.

Corps officials say the project, which is part of the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Damage Reduction Project, will reduce the risk of damage from a 1-in-10-years rainfall.

The $14.7 million contract to was awarded to Hamp's Construction LLC. Under the contract, 7,400 feet of the canal will be widened and other improvements made between Bayou Fatima and Bayou Barataria.

Ouachita Parish officials say they're seeking more than $165,000 in state funding for drainage improvement projects.

The News-Star reports that the parish typically receives $145,000 a year from the Local Government Assistance Program.

However, the Police Jury only gets $60,000 because the rest is divided among the cities of Monroe and West Monroe and the towns of Richwood and Sterlington.

Existing levees will be raised in two northeast Louisiana parishes starting in the next few weeks.

The levees held during the Mississippi River flood of 2011, but have settled gradually since being built in 1973.

Reynold Minsky is president of the 5th Louisiana Levee District board. He tells The News-Star of Monroe the changes will bring all of East Carroll Parish and most of Concordia Parish to 500-year flood protection levels.

A marsh management levee that is expected to become part of Terrebonne Parish's Morganza hurricane protection system was severely damaged during Hurricane Isaac.

The Courier reports the storm's tidal surge destroyed one of the levee's water control structures, washing it away and leaving behind a 50-foot gap.

Terrebonne Levee Director Reggie Dupre said the levee, which crosses open water in the Wildlife and Fisheries' Pointe-aux-Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Montegut, has caused repeated headaches for the levee district.

Louisiana Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu will be joining President Obama when he arrives in New Orleans on Labor Day to review the region's recovery from Hurricane Isaac. Landrieu says she’ll be pressing him for more support of offshore revenue sharing.

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