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Darlington | News | theadvocate.com – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2020-11-22 17:52:00 –

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will study the feasibility and safety of the proposed Darlington flood dam to better assess the risk of catastrophic failure and the impact of structures on minority communities and archaeological sites. I would like to spend another three and a half years and $ 6 million for this. ..

Corps officials say they want to pull more detailed soil and archaeological analysis from the sites and other designs that would normally take place after the project has been approved by Congress.

Corps officials say they will investigate more deeply into the previously pointed out poor soil conditions that underlie the proposed 3.6-mile-long, 86-foot-high soil structure.

“We’re going to do the right thing. We’re going to recommend plans that we can build, but not only that, we want to recommend plans that we can build safely,” said the Corps Darlington Dam. Kaitlyn Carriere, a project manager, recently told the Legislative Task Force.

The Darlington Dry Dam delay means that the $ 1.3 billion dam and the $ 1 billion of related downstream residential elevation and flood control projects will not be subject to parliamentary approval and funding until April 2025. ..

The Engineers had previously wanted the project to be in that position by October next year.

Corps officials are in the field that would normally take place after a project has been blessed by Congress before pursuing a report by the Chief preparing for Congressional approval and funding under the Corps’ internal process. He says he wants to accelerate his work.

Corps officials said this next-level study, which the New Orleans district is still seeking internal combustion approval, will be fully federally funded from the 2018-approved flood dollars.

The proposed dam in the East Feliciana Parish, upstream of the Amite River in southern St. Helena and just north of Grangeville, does not permanently block the river, but has three gates that can be closed in the event of heavy rain. Temporarily suppress water until it is safely released. downstream.

Carriere and other corps officials have emphasized in recent months that proposals to build dams are “high risk” as they inherently carry life and safety risks.

They say that the worst-case Darlington Dam failure means the release of an 86-foot-high water wall down the Amite River, just north of the most populous section of the basin in the East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes. He said there was a possibility.

During Carriere’s presentation to the Task Force, led by state legislature Valary Hodges, avid dam advocate R-Denham Springs, along with a brief historical lesson on the catastrophic failure of past dams, Prefaced with the latest plans for the Corps of Engineers.

Carriere pointed out that the Teton Dam of the US Bureau of Land Management in Idaho broke down in June 1976. The collapse occurred when the dam was first buried, causing $ 2 billion in damage and $ 300 million in claims to the federal government.

“Building without proper engineering analysis is a huge impetus, and the dam broke during construction, killing 11 people,” said Carriere.

Its structure suffered from poor soil conditions that Carriere and other corps officials said were similar to what might underlie the proposed Darlington Dry Dam.

These conditions were pointed out in previous studies of dam concepts in the late 1980s and 1990s. The latest feasibility studies of Army Corps of Engineers dams rely on 11 soil drillings and 2 trenches dug in the early to mid-1990s, and there are no new drills to test soil conditions.

The response from Task Force members to the latest Army Corps of Engineers announcement focused on the rights that members could hold for dam-affected landowners, especially hunters and farmers who use the forests in the area. , It was relatively modest.

While some wondered if archeology and some of the tedious soil work could be done in parallel to save time, Carriere asked Task Force members to survey cultural resources before starting drilling. Said that you need to do it first.Corps officials say they need to do

While some question the ability to fund the proposal, the $ 2.3 billion joint project includes Hodges and others, along with the diversion of the Comite River under construction and the planned clearing of waterways in the East Baton Rouge Parish. Is considered an important safeguard by the people of.

The dam could offer significant flood reduction potential, including a 6.5-foot reduction in flood levels in Denham Springs during a 25-year flood during heavy rainfall in the populous Amite River basin. there is. A 25-year event has a 4% chance of occurring in any year.

The tentative concept, which was the subject of a public review last fall and early winter, was corps in April, despite opposition from parish police judges in East Feliciana and St. Helena and concerns from the local timber industry. I received the blessing of.

During these closures, the dam will curb water from floods for 25 years and protect it with an elevation program for up to 15,000 homes downstream, but in the less populated forests and farmlands of the Parish of St. Helena and East Feliciana. Flood at least 12,600 acres of water. ..

However, depending on the size of the event, the effects of intermittent floods could spread to 26,000 acres and north to the Mississippi border.

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