Chief’s Report Signed For Louisiana South Central Coast Project
Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, commanding general of the Corps of Engineers, on June 29 signed the Chief of Engineers Report for the South Central Coast, Louisiana project, specifying the recommended path forward for reducing hurricane and storm damage risk in Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary parishes. The report has been submitted to the administration and Congress for review and authorization.
The report identifies a $1.33 billion nonstructural approach to flood plain management within the 3,000-square-mile study area. The recommended course of action combines floodproofing and elevating structures currently subject to impacts during a 25-year tropical weather event, an event that has a 4 percent chance of occurring in any given year.
“Risk reduction is a team sport, especially in south Louisiana,” said Col. Stephen Murphy, commander of the New Orleans Engineer District. “Corps employees at our district and across the Mississippi Valley Division, along with our partners at the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority and the local level, worked diligently for three years to complete the first step in bringing more than $1 billion in flood risk reduction to residents and businesses in these parishes.”
Participation in the project will be 100 percent voluntary. With full participation, The Corps estimates the plan can reduce risk for more than 2,200 residential, commercial and public structures within the study area. Overall, the plan is projected to reduce an annual average of $45 million in hurricane and coastal storm-induced damages during its 50-year design life. Additionally, the project will help reduce financial and social impacts that tropical weather events can have on local communities, the Corps said.
The South Central Coast, Louisiana Feasibility Study began in late 2018 with 100 percent federal funding from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 with the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority as the nonfederal sponsor.
The signed Chief’s Report is the final step of the feasibility process. To begin construction on the South Central Coast Louisiana project, Congressional authorization and appropriation is needed.
The final report and supporting documents can be found on the New Orleans District website at: www.mvn.usace.army.mil/South-Central-Coast/.