NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - It's taken nearly ten years, but the last of the city's fire stations, damaged by Hurricane Katrina is back open after extensive repairs. Tuesday, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, along with other city officials and FEMA celebrated the opening of the new NOFD Engine 31 Fire Station in Venetian Isles. The $3.7 million facility, located at 4300 Alba Road, will provide protection to the Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine communities.
The 7,800 square foot facility replaces a smaller fire station that was built in 1975 and flooded during Hurricane Katrina. It was built to withstand storms and hurricanes. Because it's located outside of the levee protection system, the fire station's living spaces are located on the second floor - above flood elevation. That will enable firefighters to be able to respond to fire emergencies immediately after a storm of high water event. There is also a 60 kW generator that is able to run essential electrical operations for three days. "This new station is what I mean when I say we aren't just building New Orleans back; we're building our city back better and stronger than before", says Mayor Mitch Landrieu.
New Orleans Fire Department Superintendent Tim McConnell said, "The completion of NOFD Engine 31 Fire Station is a big step towards the restoration of the NOFD. Moving the firefighters back to the original location of their pre-Hurricane Katrina fire house brings a welcome level of security and comfort to the residents of both the Venetian Isles and Lake Catherine communities. Additionally, the opening of this station brings to a close the last temporary fire station due to Hurricane Katrina. I know the firefighters are happy to be back home in a beautiful state-of-the-art, resilient facility."
The new fire station is a two-company facility housing two fire trucks and five firefighters per shift. District E City Council member James A. Gray II said, "Our neighbors in Lake Catherine and Venetian Isles will be able to rest easier at night knowing that the firefighters of NOFD Engine 31 are a stone's throw away, ready to protect lives and property.
-at-Large Stacy Head said, "The Council is grateful to FEMA for their continued investment in our recovering community, including this beautiful $3.7 million fire station which will serve the Venetian Isles community. With FEMA's support, we continue to build back stronger and smarter, and that is evidenced in this fabulous 7,800 square foot state-of-the-art facility."
FEMA recovery dollars, insurance and City bond funds helped financed the project. Trapolin-Peer Architects of New Orleans designed the NOFD Engine 31 Station, and Devier Design Build of Mandeville constructed the facility. C-Davis Construction, Malone Electrical, Metro Disposal, M&R Disposal, Dillon Brothers, and Alpha and Omega, LLC served as Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBEs) on the project.