News Article

Gov. Edwards announces $163 million for 15 state projects to reduce flood risk; $57 million slated for Livingston Parish projects

Date:Mar 25, 2021

Gov. John Bel Edwards has announced $163 million in federal funding for 15 state projects and programs designed to reduce flood risk for communities throughout the state.

Of that total, $57 million — or nearly 35 percent — will be used for two projects in Livingston Parish, according to figures provided by the Governor’s Office. All told, 15 parishes will receive funds to reduce flood risk.

The state selected these projects because they align with the long-term resilience objectives of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative (LWI) and the state’s CDBG-MIT Action Plan, including natural flood management, flood control and critical infrastructure projects.

The funding for these projects is part of the $1.2 billion in federal mitigation funds allocated to Louisiana, Edwards said in a statement.

The Office of Community Development is the granting agency of these funds, responsible for determining project eligibility and alignment with the state’s Action Plan.

“The 2016 floods were a devastating reminder that Louisiana’s historical approach to managing flood risk no longer works,” Edwards said. “The Louisiana Watershed Initiative is bringing together local, regional and state agencies to improve regional watershed management through collaboration and coordination.”

According to the LWI website, these projects will reduce flood risk in communities throughout the state, store floodwaters in ways that enhance natural habitats, and move people in flood-prone areas out of harm’s way

“This approach will leverage accurate science and data to identify projects for funding that significantly reduce flood risk,” Edwards said. “We are thrilled to begin putting these federal dollars to work and will continue to launch watershed projects and programs as quickly and effectively as possible to benefit all of Louisiana.”

According to the Governor’s Office, the two Livingston Parish projects slated to receive the federal mitigation funding are:

Ascension and Livingston parishes

Funds: $42 million

Project: Excavation of two drainage basins through La. Hwy 22 and construction of two new bridge structures which will reduce water surface elevation on the Amite River and restore flows into the McElroy Swamp.

Livingston Parish

Funds: $15 million

Project: Livingston Parish drainage improvements, which will involve lateral drainage work to reduce flood water inundation, including reshaping eroded banks, repairing levees and other structures and removing debris from about 145 miles of stream channels that connect to the parish’s previously cleared waterway.

The other state 13 projects that will receive the federal mitigation funding include:

-- Cameron and Vermilion parishes: $25 million for the Mermentau Basin inundation relief project

-- Vernon Parish: $14.3 million for Anacoco Creek watershed improvements

-- Beauregard Parish: $12.8 million for Bundick Lake flood surcharge management

-- Franklin Parish: $10.2 million for Turkey Creek retention improvements and critical infrastructure hardening

-- St. Tammany Parish: $10 million for residential elevations and buyouts

-- Vermilion Parish: $10 million for residential elevations and buyouts

-- Caddo Parish: $6.6 million for Black Bayou structure hardening and runoff retention improvements

-- East Baton Rouge Parish: $5 million for the University Lakes flood risk reduction project

-- Rapides Parish: $3.7 million for LSU Alexandria drainage improvements

-- St. Landry Parish: $2.9 million for Three Mile Lake backwater flood reduction

-- Jackson Parish: $2.7 million for Caney Lake flood surcharge management

-- Rapides and Evangeline parishes: $2.2 million for Bayou Cocodrie runoff retention and critical infrastructure improvements

-- Grant Parish: $1.1 million for Iatt Lake drawdown improvements