NEW ORLEANS – Lt. Gen. Scott Spellmon, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers commanding general and Chief of Engineers, signed the South Central Coast, Louisiana Chief of Engineers Report 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 Chief’s 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, New Orleans 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 dollars in flood risk reduction to residents and businesses in these parishes.”
Participation in the project will be 100-percent voluntary. With full participation, USACE 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. Fewer damages allow families and businesses to rebound faster, suffer fewer lost work days for those that support the local and regional economies and less missed school days for local children.
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 here: https://www.mvn.usace.army.mil/South-Central-Coast/
Release no. 22-018