St. Bernard government and Lake Borgne Basin Levee District launch flood risk community education and outreach campaign; Open houses set for 3-7 p.m. June 10 at Val Reiss Multi-Purpose Center

Posted: May 28th, 2014 | Filed under: News Releases

St. Bernard Parish government and the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District announced plans to launch a community outreach campaign to educate St. Bernard residents about flood risk and hazard mitigation planning.

The informational campaign will target three areas: safety, flood control and responsibility. The goal of the public awareness campaign is to reduce the risk of loss of life and property due to natural hazards.

Included in the campaign are three community open houses scheduled in St. Bernard Parish to give residents the chance to speak directly with hazard mitigation and floodplain management professionals about protecting your family and property from flood risks.

Open houses will be held from 3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. June 10th at the Val Reiss Multi-Purpose Center in Chalmette; June 11th at Docville Farm in Violet; and June 18th at the Los Isleños Heritage and Cultural Society Museum Complex in St. Bernard Village.

Detailed mapping information regarding flood risks associated with living within and outside the levee systems will be available.

Present will be representatives from FEMA, the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Agency – East, the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District and the St. Bernard Parish department and agencies which coordinate emergency preparedness.

The St. Bernard – Lake Borgne Basin Levee District information project is being implemented under the guidance of the St. Bernard Parish Hazard Mitigation Grant Program Office of St. Bernard Parish government and is a companion of an ongoing statewide community education and outreach effort.

Michael Hunnicutt, St. Bernard Parish Hazard Mitigation Technical Advisor, said St. Bernard Parish government and the Lake Borgne Basin Levee District have planned and currently oversee $52 million in unprecedented construction and upgrades to the parish’s interior drainage system.

This will result in more efficient and enhanced storm and rain water movement and run-off, he said.

“The Flood Risk: Safety, Control, and Responsibility campaign is a continuation of our effort to reach citizens with important information about flood risk control and management, community resiliency and education and coastal protection and restoration.”

“We want all residents to know their risk, know their role and take action on behalf of their families,” said Hunnicutt, who previously worked for St. Bernard government.

Lake Borgne Basin Levee District Executive Director Nicholas Cali emphasized the importance of being aware and urged citizens to attend the upcoming open houses to learn more about best practices for protecting your family and property against flood risks.

“Hurricanes aren’t the only cause of flooding,’’ cali said. “Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. Learn the elevation level of your home or property, identify levees and coastal waterways to determine flood risk in your neighborhood.’’ He also said people should “put a plan in place for your family in the event a storm or weather event approaches.”

Beginning soon, through the peak hurricane season, flood risk educational materials will be distributed via water bills from parish government and across an email-based information network that residents can sign up for.