Construction To Begin On 90 Million-Gallon Pond in Slidell To Reduce Flooding

SLIDELL, La. (AP) — Louisiana parish officials say construction will begin in early January on a pond expected to reduce storm flooding by holding nearly 91 million gallons of water.

St. Tammany Parish President Pat Brister said in a news release Monday that the French Branch Pond in Slidell should be finished by early 2019.

A news release says the pond will cost about $4.1 million, and another $6.5 million will widen a downstream canal.

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In January of this year, Parish officials announced the $7.9 million dollar grant award through the federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, to fund this project. As part of ongoing flooding mitigation efforts Parish-wide, this grant will fund not only the French Branch Pond, but also the widening of the W-15 Canal. This project will reduce the flooding impact to homes and businesses throughout the W-15 Basin as it will reduce peak runoff to the W-15 Canal downstream of the French Branch Pond, and increase the conveyance capacity of the W-15 Canal.

“We are excited to begin the first phase of this project which will increase the storage capacity of storm water through the creation of this pond,” said Pat Brister, St. Tammany Parish President. “This grant award moves this multi-layered project forward, and as a result, we will see increased movement of water away from homes during a flooding event.”

This award, ties back to Hurricane Ike which impacted the coast of Louisiana in September of 2008, is a matching grant, which means St. Tammany Parish Government will absorb 25 percent of the cost of the $10.6 million project. Construction of the pond portion of the project is estimated to cost $4,115,000. Construction is expected to be complete in early 2019 barring any delays. 

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