Commissioner Donelon, Army Corps Take Insurance Executives on Tour of Greater New Orleans Levee System
Commissioner of Insurance Jim Donelon has touted the progress of federal hurricane mitigation efforts for several years. On Tuesday he got the opportunity to show the insurance industry exactly what he’s been talking about. Commissioner Donelon and the Director of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Task Force Hope took more than a dozen insurance industry executives on a seven hour tour this week of the levee system known as the Greater New Orleans Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS).
The HSDRRS includes 350 miles of levees and floodwalls, three canal closure structures with pumps, four gated outlets and 73 non-federal pumping stations across the perimeter of the Greater New Orleans five parish area. The project is fully funded at $14.45 billion and it’s designed to reduce the risk associated with a storm surge event that has a one percent change of occurring in any given year, or a 100-year storm surge.
Tour participants were briefed on the project by Task Force Hope Director Mike Park (a New Orleans native) then taken on a tour of the inner workings of the West Closure Complex in Belle Chasse (the largest pumping station in the world), then to the 17th Street Canal and the Lakefront Levees System; the Seabrook Floodgate Complex at the north end of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (IHNC), known locally as the Industrial Canal; the Hayne Blvd. Floodwalls; and the IHNC Surge Barrier, about 12 miles east of downtown New Orleans.
“The purpose of this tour was to show the representatives of the insurance companies who write business in this state that southeast Louisiana is protected better than ever and well prepared for another Hurricane Katrina-type event,” Commissioner Donelon said. “I believe that all of the tour participants were impressed with the additional level of storm surge protection that now exists for Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, Plaquemines and St. Charles Parishes.”
Photos of Commissioner Donelon’s HSDRRS tour can be viewed on the Department of Insurance website at http://www.ldi.la.gov/public_affairs/2012-LeveeTour/2012LeveeTour.html