The study area, which includes portions of St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St James Parishes, is located west of the Bonnet Carre' Spillway between the Mississippi River and Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas. Communities within the study area include Laplace, Reserve, Garyville, Gramercy, Lutcher, and Grand Point.
The study purpose is to provide a recommendation for Federal participation in hurricane storm damage risk reduction for St. Charles, St. John the Baptist and St. James Parishes that would be economically and environmentally justified.
In November 2007 the Corps of Engineers recommended to the local sponsor (the Pontchartrain Levee District) that the feasibility study (FS) be completed. The local sponsor agreed with this recommendation. A revised Project Management Plan (PMP) Addendum and Feasibility Cost Share Agreement (FCSA) were prepared and approved in May and July 2008, respectively. Subsequently, as funds became available in Fiscal Year 2009, the study has begun to develop alternatives and formulate measures that could address storm surge in the study area.
The study is investigating the potential to provide hurricane and storm surge risk reduction on the east-bank of the Mississippi River in St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, and St. James Parishes to nearly 18,000 residential, commercial and industrial structures as well as the I-10 hurricane evacuation corridor through both structural and non-structural measures.
Over 60,000 people in the 3 parish study area have little to no hurricane risk reduction in place. Additionally, the I-10 is the major corridor for access to and from the New Orleans metropolitan area which bisects the study area. During Hurricane Isaac, the interstate was submerged for multiple days and slowed emergency response across the region. This caused considerable rerouting of traffic for days after the storm. A large portion of the study area was inundated by storm surge.
Major flooding problems occurred from Hurricanes Betsy (1965), Juan (1985), Rita (2005), and Gustav and Ike (2008) and Isaac (2012).
Authority: HR, 29 Jul 71 and SR, 20 Sep 74