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St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper announces funding for the first Parish-wide Comprehensive Drainage Plan to implement critical stormwater management has been secured.

“Today is an important day for the future of St. Tammany Parish,” said Parish President Mike Cooper. “For our Parish to continue to be a highly desirable place to live and work, there is a need for effective planning and management of future growth. Proper drainage is imperative in increasing our resiliency in the years to come as we address the flood protection needs of our citizens.”

The Parish-wide Comprehensive Drainage Plan will be a crucial, $900,000 initiative funded solely by the 1.69 drainage millage, which renewal was passed with overwhelming support by the voters of St. Tammany in March 2021. The Parish Council authorized the expenditure at its regular meeting on July 8.

St. Tammany has been, and continues to be, at high risk for flooding events. The Louisiana Watershed Initiative Action Plan lists St. Tammany as one of the most impacted Parishes from the two flooding events in March and August 2016. Additionally, the Watershed Initiative’s Action Plan predicts St. Tammany to be the state’s most vulnerable Parish to flooding by the year 2043.

“I want to personally thank the citizens of St. Tammany for prioritizing our future in passing the drainage millage that supported this plan,” said Cooper. “We can no longer be reactive in regards to flooding. My administration is taking the necessary steps now to analyze the existing flood hazards, as well as predict future conditions, in order to mitigate deficiencies and reduce future problems. This is the first step in protecting our communities from ensuing flooding incidents.”

St. Tammany Parish faces unique challenges regarding stormwater management, especially riverine and coastal influences which are intricately connected to present-day flooding issues. The Parish is forced to accommodate storm water that comes from outside of St. Tammany Parish borders and travels the various rivers through the Parish to its ultimate outfall. The Parish has many areas with little relief at the termination of drainage basins, which can present challenges in maintaining adequate capacity in the systems.

The plan will include a combination of drainage improvement initiatives, which will utilize current and future parish funds to leverage outside funding sources through State and Federal participation, grants, non-profit and/or private entities.

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