Pump station riddle must be solved


May 14, 2008 at 1:48 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Parish President V.J. St. Pierre and the current council members must make a decision regarding the controversial Magnolia Ridge Pump Station.

The project was blocked last year by a lawsuit because opponents felt the project was overpriced. Now residents must wait for answers on new bids among other things, surrounding the pump stations.  But why are pump stations so important? How do the pumping systems benefit residents in the most vulnerable areas of the parish?

Floodwaters that could overtake neighborhoods are pumped during heavy rainfall events using the high powered equipment. 

At a recent council meeting, St. Pierre warned council members that the Magnolia Ridge Pump Station's discharge permit didn't allow it to be used during normal rainfall. It is designed to pump water from behind the parish's unfinished west bank hurricane protection levee.

Under those conditions, the station might not be allowed to operate more than four or five times in a lifetime. A completed levee on the west bank, which would help the pumping station to work to it's capacity, won't be complete anytime soon.

In other words, he believes the pumping station's capabilities will be useless under the worst circumstances because of gaps in the levee. 

During a tidal flood event, water would merely flow back into neighborhoods. The pump station would only assist residents in the Magnolia Ridge area during lesser storm events, but wouldn't be capable of handling heavy waters caused by the threat of a hurricane.




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