(The Center Square) – Louisiana will spend $61.6 million in federal money on 16 flood risk reduction projects throughout the state, Gov. John Bel Edwards' office announced.
The projects are part of officials’ plans to spend a $1.2 billion grant the state received in September.
“Last week, heavy rains once again inundated flood-weary communities throughout Louisiana, underscoring our state’s increasing flood risk and urgent need for better flood risk reduction,” Edwards said in a prepared statement. “Through the Louisiana Watershed Initiative, we are working to fight flooding on a large scale with immediate and long-term solutions.”
The stated goal of the Watershed Initiative is to establish a regional approach to flood mitigation across jurisdictional lines. A “watershed” is a land area that channels rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, streams and rivers and eventually to outflow points such as reservoirs, bays and the ocean, as defined by the National Ocean Service.
This week’s announcement follows the state’s March award of $163 million for 15 projects and programs addressing similar issues. This summer, regional steering committees will make project recommendations for the remaining $40 million in the first round of funding, officials said.
State officials also have directed more than $100 million to buyout and elevation programs in flood-prone areas of Lake Charles, Denham Springs, Washington Parish, West Monroe and Scott. The governor’s office announced a $30 million voluntary buyout program for the Greinwich Terrace neighborhood of Lake Charles last week.
The 16 newly awarded projects and funding amounts are:
• $10 million for Chatlin Lake Canal backwater overflow relief structure in Rapides Parish;
• $8.5 million for Bayou Duplantier floodplain acquisition in East Baton Rouge Parish;
• $5.7 million for Ward Creek floodplain acquisition in East Baton Rouge Parish;
• $5.36 million for Ockley Basin storage project in Caddo Parish;
• $5.3 million for Huffman Creek pump station and outfall improvements in Rapides Parish;
• $4.7 million for Coulee Mine East detention project in Lafayette Parish;
• $4.7 million for Cypress Bayou green infrastructure in East Baton Rouge Parish;
• $3.3 million for Dellwood drainage pump station hardening in St. Tammany Parish;
• $2.9 million for Church Point detention and flood proofing in Acadia Parish;
• $2.85 million for East Slidell ring levee in St. Tammany Parish;
• $1.9 million for emergency backup pumps for pump stations in Lafourche Parish;
• $1.9 million for Horseshoe Canal hardening project in Rapides Parish;
• $1.8 million for Lee Street drainage pump station hardening in St. Tammany Parish;
• $1.25 million for Bonadona-Cataldo subdivision drainage pump improvements in Ascension Parish;
• $749,000 for Coushatta Casino Resort wastewater treatment plant floodwall in Allen Parish;
• $659,500 for Maringouin drainage improvements in Iberville Parish.