- SLFPA—West was created by the Louisiana legislature in 2006 and has the responsibility for constructing, operating and maintaining approximately 47 miles of hurricane flood protection levees, floodwalls and floodgates and approximately 33 miles of Mississippi River levees and floodwalls within its jurisdiction.
- SLFPA—West is currently working with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to construct the West Bank and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project, a flood control project covering four areas: the metropolitan portion of West Jefferson Parish, Algiers in Orleans Parish, Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish and west bank portions of St. Charles Parish.
- SLFPA—West and its member levee districts belong to the Louisiana Civil Service system and operate with a staff of approximately 50 employees.
Member Levee Districts
- SLFPA—West has two levee districts under its management: the West Jefferson Levee District (WJLD) and the Algiers Levee District.
West Jefferson Levee District
- The WJLD was created by the Louisiana legislature in 1980 and is a member levee district within the SLFPA-West. Its jurisdiction covers all land lying on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Jefferson Parish to a point just north of Crown Point.
Algiers Levee District
- The Algiers Levee District was created by the Louisiana legislature in 2007 by reorganizing the Orleans Levee District and is a member levee district within the Authority. Its jurisdiction covers all land lying on the West Bank of the Mississippi River in Orleans Parish.
Safe House and Emergency Command Center
- Following Hurricane Katrina, the commissioners for SLFPA—West realized that the Authority’s mission of responding to hurricane flooding would be greatly impaired if it could not provide for the safety and support of its employees during future hurricane events. The commissioners authorized the construction of a Safe House and Emergency Command Center.
- Completed in 2008 at a cost of approximately $2 million, the facility is actually a renovation of an existing maintenance building located within the West Jefferson Levee District. It was designed to withstand hurricane winds of up to 200 m.p.h. and storm surge of up to 20 feet.
- The Safe House and Emergency Command Center can house up to 50 employees for up to 14 days. The facility contains sleeping quarters, a large kitchen, a dining/meeting room, a command center and offices. It can be powered by an on-site generator with communications capability via satellite telephone.
Flood Control Issues
- The East Bank and the West Bank are in different flood basins separated by a natural barrier, the Mississippi River. The threat of flooding on the East Bank comes from Lake Pontchartrain. The threat of flooding on the West Bank comes from storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico.
- This $1.4 billion federally funded, locally cost-shared project, when complete, will provide hurricane flood protection against a 100-year hurricane for the more than 250,000 citizens living and working in the communities of west Jefferson Parish, Algiers in Orleans Parish, and Belle Chasse in Plaquemines Parish.
- Act 8 of the 2005 special session of the Louisiana Legislature created the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) to give the citizens of Louisiana one voice on all matters dealing with hurricane flood protection and coastal restoration.
- CPRA provides coordination and enforcement of the state’s policies and programs for hurricane flood protection.
- The legislature places responsibility for the direction and development of the state’s comprehensive master coastal protection plan with CPRA.
- The Authority represents the state’s position in policy implementation relative to hurricane protection projects and programs.
- The Department of Natural Resources leads the effort on coastal restoration. The Department of Transportation and Development leads the effort to coordinate hurricane flood protection.
- CPRA has the power to enforce levee district compliance with the hurricane flood protection plan as implemented.