The flood management funding will go towards flood protection projects such as levees and diversions
The White House Office of Management and Budget approved $1.4 billion in federal funds for flood protection projects in Louisiana, including the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain hurricane levee and the Comite River Diversion Canal. The funding comes as part of recent supplemental appropriations bill that allocated $10.4 billion for flood protection projects in states impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.
The case for Louisiana flood management funding was championed by U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves and Sen. Bill Cassidy. The legislation provides full federal funding for the Comite Diversion and includes an agreement requiring the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to pay the full cost of the West Shore levee up front and provides the state 30 years to repay its 35% share.
According to the Times-Picayune New Orleans, the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain hurricane levee will provide a levee in St. John the Baptist Parish to protect against storm surges caused by a 100-year storm. Additionally, the Comite River Diversion Canal will divert floodwaters from the Comite River to the Mississippi River and reduce floodwaters in impacted riversheds.
“This is not a drill. This is not merely a hope and a prayer,” said Sen. Graves of the funding. “Comite will be completed in three to four years, and the flood protection we deserved in 1983 and again in 2016 will soon arrive throughout the capital region and the state.”