Voters in Algiers and West Jefferson to determine future of hurricane protection this November
MARRERO – (Sept. 14, 2015) – In 2006, the Louisiana legislature created the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West (SLFPA-W) in response to the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
“Prior to Hurricane Katrina, there was a grossly inadequate levee protection system on the West Bank,” said SLFPA-W President Susan H. Maclay. “While the East Bank had levees to fail, the West Bank had gaping holes.”
Most levees on the West Bank and Vicinity were deficient, with an average height of 8 feet, leaving gaps at Hwy 90, Company Canal, Harvey Canal, Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW), Belle Chasse and Algiers Canal.
West Bank and Vicinity levees before Hurricane Katrina
To date, an investment of $4 billion in creating new levees and flood control structures has given the West Bank and Vicinity a wall of protection that never existed.
“The West Bank now has real hurricane protection and a comprehensive Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System,” said Maclay. “This new system is resilient against storms that are larger than the 100-year storm event.”
West Bank and Vicinity after Hurricane Katrina
Now that the improved and vastly expanded system is complete, the West Jefferson and Algiers Levee Districts are responsible for the costs of Operation, Maintenance, Repair, Replacement and Rehabilitation (OMRR&R) of 80 miles of levees and floodwalls, 33 miles of which are river levees and 47 miles of which are hurricane levees, 67 floodgates, 35 valves, two pump stations and two sector gates.
In order to maintain the new flood protection system and determine the future of hurricane protection, voters in Algiers and West Jefferson will cast ballots on two millage propositions that would add 5.5 mills to West Jefferson and renew 6.35 mills to Algiers residents’ annual tax payment. The millage propositions will be on the Nov. 21 ballot. Early voting will be held Nov. 7-14.
About the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West (SLFPA-W)
The mission of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West is to protect the citizens and businesses of the West Bank of the greater New Orleans area in Jefferson and Orleans Parishes from hurricanes and riverine flooding by inspecting, operating and maintaining the integrity of our levees, floodwalls and floodgates. It is composed of two levee districts: the West Jefferson Levee District in Jefferson Parish and the Algiers Levee District in Orleans Parish. The Authority has jurisdiction over 80 miles of levees in the most populated areas of the West Bank of Jefferson Parish and in all of Orleans Parish on the West Bank, including 47 miles of levees that are part of the Hurricane and Storm Damage
Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) and 33 miles of Mississippi River levees. Since 2006, all of the Authority’s levees and floodwalls have been improved for the protection of residents in south Louisiana. For more information, visit www.slfpaw.org.