Hurricane season is underway, and last week St. Charles Parish put on display a few of its latest measures to protect its residents from flooding.
$15 million in enhanced flood protection was commemorated as St. Charles Parish President Matt Jewell and other parish officials were on-hand Thursday for the official ribbon-cutting of the Magnolia Ridge Drainage Pump Station and the Paradis Canal Gate groundbreaking, two major components of the West bank hurricane protection levee project.
It was the rare occasion where a ribbon cutting and a groundbreaking were held at the same time. Construction of the pump station was completed earlier this year, but an opening ceremony was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The station will provide flood protection to the residents within the Magnolia Ridge area watershed, which also includes 41 businesses, two public buildings and 25 service buildings including schools, medical facilities and churches.
The project included the installation of the new drainage pump station, the purchase and installation of four pumps with the capacity to pump out 125 cubic feet of water per second, diesel engine pump drivers, station concrete structure, an access road, an automatic bar screen and a retention area adjacent the pump station. An earthen levee was also constructed around the pump station, tying into the existing Magnolia Ridge levee.
The $10 million project was funded via the FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and the parish’s general fund.
The groundbreaking for the Paradis Canal Gate commemorated construction that began on June 15. The flood control structure will help provide flood protection within the Magnolia Ridge watershed as well, but it will also protect residents, businesses and facilities from Lake Salvador surge waters.
That $5 million project will include the installation of a new motorized vertical lift gated system, a sheet wall tying in the Magnolia Ridge and Sunset levees and cage ladders for access and operation of the gates. The project was funded by grants through the CPRA-RESTORE Act Spill Impact Component Matching Funds, the Department of the Treasury – RESTORE Act and Delta Regional Authority – States Economic Development Assistance Program.