Columbus: Stormwater management fee is key to long-term flood reduction

Sewerage & Water Board Director Ghassan Korban was very clear in his remarks at the Bureau of Governmental Research on Tuesday morning. When it rains as hard and fast as it did early Sunday, May 12, expect flooding. Our antiquated drainage system just can’t keep up. Like thousands of New Orleanians, we spent Sunday mopping up flood residue and drying out our cars. Guests at the neighboring short-term rentals, caught off-guard, stood in line for our shop vac.

City update on severe weather, flooding

from the City of New Orleans
Updated 11 a.m. 5/13/2019

New Orleans officials released the following information following heavy rains and thunderstorms that moved through the metro area Sunday morning. More than five inches of rain fell in parts of the city between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., with bouts of heavy rain at rates of two inches an hour and higher sparking Flash Flood Warnings. Widespread street flooding was reported throughout the city. Observed flooding in some areas took notably longer to drain. Those areas include:

Area bounded by Canal Boulevard, West End Boulevard, City Park Avenue, and Filmore Avenue
Broad Street and Orleans Avenue corridors
Banks Street corridor
Franklin Avenue at I-610/I-10 overpass
Napoleon Avenue from Claiborne Avenue to Broad Street

Officials tout improved drainage, streets with South Galvez Infrastructure Project

The South Galvez Street Infrastructure Project officially ended on Thursday when city officials gathered for a ceremony. The project, which cost $5.4 million to complete, runs from Toledano Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. It was designed in accordance with New Orleans’ Complete Streets policy. “The residents in this area needed to see that they are valued, they’re respected, and we’re wanting to make the investment in where they live, and that means we are investing in the people in our city,” Mayor LaToya Cantrell stated in a press release. The project was hailed for its potential to bring improvements to an often-overlooked part of the historic Central City neighborhood.

S&WB repairing water main on Claiborne

The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans is conducting an emergency repair on a 30-inch water main under South Claiborne Avenue between Octavia and Upperline streets. Residents in the area may experience short-term low water pressure. Traffic restrictions on Claiborne will start today at 9 a.m.

The right and center lanes of downtown-bound traffic on Claiborne from Octavia to Jefferson Avenue will be closed. Riverbound traffic on Claiborne will not be allowed to turn onto Jefferson. The repair is expected to take three days to complete, barring any unforeseen circumstances.

‘Historic Preservation in the Face of Climate Change’ explored in three-part series

The Preservation Resource Center is hosting a three-part series to address the risks and challenges climate change presents for New Orleans and the role preservation can play in creating a more resilient future. The first event of the series, to be held Wednesday, is a panel discussion titled “Document.” As the PRC website explains: “As our climate changes, so do our natural, built and cultural landscapes. While we strive to save as much as we can, we must consider what we are poised to lose and how efforts to record and archive can help mitigate inevitable casualties.” The panelists will be Jonathan Foret, executive director, South Louisiana Wetlands Discovery Center; Daniel Hammer, vice president and deputy director, The Historic New Orleans Collection; and Susan Langenhennig, director of communications and editor of Preservation in Print, Preservation Resource Center.

Tree planting and rain-barrel painting among the activities at Hoffman Triangle event

Hoffman Triangle residents are invited to come out to Taylor Park on Saturday, April 6, from noon to 2 p.m. for a family-friendly event to learn about ways they can reduce flooding by planting trees, installing rain barrels and reducing paving. “Many neighborhoods in New Orleans, including the Hoffman Triangle, are vulnerable to repeated flooding,” said Dana Eness, executive director of the Urban Conservancy. The Urban Conservancy is working with Launch NOLA Green, Sustaining Our Urban Landscape (SOUL), Green Light New Orleans, Water Block, and the city’s Office of Resilience and Sustainability — as well as Hoffman Triangle residents, churches, schools and others — to improve the neighborhood’s stormwater conditions. “This event is part of a larger outreach effort aimed at understanding community needs, assets and growth opportunities” says Atianna Cordova, founder of Water Block and outreach manager for the project. At the Green Your Neighborhood event, Hoffman Triangle residents can learn about effective stormwater management techniques and resources to help reduce flooding on their properties and on their streets.

Cherokee Street drainage project ‘substantially complete,’ city announces

The city’s Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, announced it has substantially completed the infrastructure improvement project on Cherokee Street between Benjamin and Pearl streets. The work began in June 2018. The work in the Black Pearl neighborhood included replacing existing water lines and installing new sub-drainage lines, repairing damaged sewer lines, repaving portions of the roadway in asphalt, installing rain gardens and a pervious parking lane to reduce subsidence and detain storm water, replacing damaged sidewalks and driveway aprons, and installing Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant curb ramps at intersections. Crews will be on site for a few more weeks cleaning all existing catch basins, adjusting water meters and performing general cleanup duties, city officials stated. The project was designed by Professional Engineering Consultants Corp.

Cherokee Street repairs nearing completion, city announces

The Department of Public Works, in conjunction with the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, is now more than 80 percent complete constructing a road and infrastructure improvement project on Cherokee Street between Benjamin and Pearl streets. The project in the Black Pearl neighborhood was designed by Professional Engineering Consultants Corp. and is being built by Fleming Construction Co. Construction crews have been installing rain gardens and bio swales. The majority of the pervious (allows water to move through) parking lanes have been installed across the length of the project.

Sewerage & Water Board ordered to pay 10 more homeowners in Uptown drainage case

In a ruling issued Friday, Judge Nakisha Ervin-Knott awarded nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($770,435) to 10 homeowners for damages resulting from the Southeast Louisiana Urban Drainage Project construction. The Sewerage & Water Board is responsible for the damage, the judge ruled. The trial is the third for Uptown homeowners suing S&WB for construction and vibration damage. S&WB must pay the homeowners’ attorneys’ fees and costs, pushing the award to over $1 million, according to plaintiff attorney Michael Whitaker. So far 25 cases have been litigated with 275 more to go.