Corps Unveils Plans to Ease Kenner Floodwall Runoff Flooding

KENNER, LA (WVUE) - The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday promised corrective action to try and ease flooding caused by one of its new floodwalls and levees in West Kenner.

That announcement follows months of complaints and thousands of dollars in damage.

It was hailed as a vital link in flood protection after Katrina, but the $140 million Kenner floodwall along the canal that divides Jefferson from St Charles Parish turned out to be a flood source for some residents along Grandlake Boulevard near West Esplanade.

"If there's any way you can assist us it would be greatly appreciated," said Grandlake resident Beverly Crais.

Stung by complaints, the Corps of Engineers has come up with a plan. The Corps is taking a three-prong approach to ease rain water runoff problems along the floodwall, hoping to stop it from periodically entering homes close to new levees.

"Whether it's aesthetically pleasing isn't as important as keeping the water out of these homes," said Kenner Councilman Dominick Impastato.

In spite of these gullies or swales and the drains, they haven't been able to keep all the runoff from going into the neighborhood. Because of that, the Corps plans to install 19-foot sheetpiles along the ridge.

The new sheetpiles will extend for a distance of about 4,000 feet between West Esplanade south to the Kenner pump station, and residents are hopeful.

"It sounds like it's gonna work. Fantastic, I don't have to worry about an afternoon storm flooding our house," said three-time flood victim Henry Schloorf.

The Corps also plans to install lip levees between West Esplanade and Vintage in a project that should be finished early next year.

"The idea is to get this taken care of before next years' rainy season so we don't have this problem again," said Herr.

In the meantime, the Corps says it will look into whether the contractor who built the new levees, is responsible for any design flaws, which contributed to a problem, they're now moving forward to correct.

As for the third phase of the project, the Corps says it will study problems between Vintage and the lakefront along the west outfall canal to determine if any additional drainage work is needed.

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