Please take a look at today's Times Picayune Opinion piece.
Looks like they too think there might be a problem with the planning for the SELA Projects.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says its computer modeling confirms that planned underground drainage improvements in Uptown New Orleans won't worsen flooding in nearby Hollygrove. But a history of flooding along a section of Hollygrove's Monticello Canal explains the concerns from residents and Jefferson Parish authorities.
Crews are soon expected to start the first phase of a $427 million project to build almost six miles of new underground drainage canals Uptown. The work includes building concrete canals under South Claiborne Avenue between Monticello Avenue and Leonidas Street; under Napoleon Avenue between South Claiborne Avenue and Carondelet Street; and along Louisiana and Jefferson avenues and Prytania Street.
Hollygrove residents fear that the increased drainage capacity Uptown will cause water to rise more quickly in the Monticello Canal, along the Orleans-Jefferson parish line. In recent downpours, water has overflowed the canal's banks on the Orleans side, which, unlike the Jefferson Parish bank, lacks a levee and floodwall.
Officials said the corps' modeling indicates the flow of water in the Monticello Canal will increase about one foot during a 10-year storm, but that the canal will not overflow. In addition, the corps has acknowledged that a bottleneck in a culvert at Airline Drive, known as Hoey's Cut, may back water up into the canal south of that location.
Considering that the canal has overflowed in recent rains, it's understandable that residents fear the additional flow of water from the added drainage Uptown.
Jefferson Parish officials are also worried. They asked the corps to expand its computer modeling to see whether the projected one-foot water rise in the Monticello Canal would create flooding problems at Hoey's Cut. That analysis is expected soon, and officials in both parishes need to work
together to address those concerns.
The long-term solution requires improving the flow of water at Hoey's Cut. The state has committed $1.8 million for that effort, but the likely cost is $20.5 million. City Councilwoman Susan Guidry, whose district includes the area, said that until that funding is secured she wants the Monticello Canal north of Airline Drive to be widened and an earthen levee on the Orleans Parish side hardened with concrete. That's a reasonable proposal.
The drainage work Uptown is needed, and it's good that officials are launching that effort. But they need to make sure the work won't hurt residents near the canal.