Rep. Garret Graves announces $7.5 million in federal funds for Baton Rouge area flood protection

Staff Report

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves announced $7,501,483.50 in funding from FEMA to help prevent future hurricane, flood and other damages in south Louisiana.

According to a news release from Graves, the funds build on record investments made recently including $100 million in FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program and Graves’ recent announcement of over $2.5 billion in hurricane protection, flood control and other projects for Louisiana.

“You can spend millions on flood protection or billions on hurricane recovery. These funds build in the billions we've secured in hurricane protection, strategic restoration of Louisiana's coast and flood control. Louisiana is safer with these investments,” Graves stated.

“We need to reinvest in our roads and sewer systems to prepare them for the next storm,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) stated in a separate news release. “This grant will help modernize our state.”

“These improvements to roads and drainage will help protect homes, businesses and school buildings in southeast Louisiana,” Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) added in another release.

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves, second from right, is shown in a file photo during a meeting with area officials.

The funding for the projects includes:

East Baton Rouge - Groom Road Storm System Improvements

Federal Funding Allotment: $1,136,600

This grant will fund the Phase I proposal for East Baton Rouge sub-recipient, Groom Road Storm System Improvements Project located in Baker.

This proposal provides funding to the sub-recipient for data gathering and technical analysis and to improve drainage by implementing localized interior drainage projects to provide protection from floods, aid in the reduction of losses to existing and future property and protect the health and well-being of the people in the watershed area from the negative effects of flood hazards.

The proposed project is to remove the existing road, curb, gutter, and storm sewer systems, and replace them with upgraded features along the 2,000 feet corridor of Groom Road.

The existing storm sewers on both sides of the street would be replaced with three reinforced concrete pipe storm sewers, respectively, that are one foot in diameter larger than the existing structure.

The proposed project also includes replacing 16 curb inlet structures along Groom Road as well as replacing the road at a profile slightly higher than the existing. Utility relocations may be necessary and would be determined during the detailed design.

The project is expected to be completed in three years.

East Baton Rouge - Livingston Parish - West Colyell Drainage Improvements, Buddy Ellis Road

Federal Funding Allotment: $3,033,100

This grant will fund the West Colyell Drainage Improvements. This project includes widening and reshaping multiple sections along West Colyell Creek from Buddy Ellis Road to the confluence with the Middle Colyell Creek.

The project is expected to be completed in three years.

Southern University Erosion/Road Improvements (state agency)

Federal Funding Allotment: $3,331,783.50

This grant will fund improving and armoring of all eroded fore slopes between and near F and H Street. These improvements will eliminate erosion within the project area which will protect the main utility hub for the university and new roadways constructed at F and H Street.

Drainage will also be improved to provide adequate capacity to the ravine. In addition, all roadways will be constructed to state and federal guidelines which will improve safety.

Additional work includes relocation/protection of all utilities within the proposed construction area. The project is expected to be completed in three years.

Hazard Mitigation Grant Program funds are appropriated by Congress and allocated from the federal Disaster Relief Fund. Congress sets aside an additional percentage of total federal recovery funds for the purpose of preparing for and minimizing future disaster damages.

Following the Flood of 2016, Louisiana received approximately $300 million in HMGP funding. In June 2021, $176 million had been allocated to Southwest Louisiana for Hurricanes Laura and Delta.