The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking for new ideas and revisiting old ones to improve flood protection and reduce flood risk in the 3,450-square-mile Amite River Basin as part of a reboot of a long-standing feasibility study for the region.
The older concepts would employ a variety of strategies, from moving water out more quickly to retaining it until the high water passes. Another would focus on protecting or removing homes and other structures.
Lower Amite Basin
* Dredge from Lake Maurepas westward to the Amite River Diversion Canal.
* Cut banks so water can flow beneath La. 22 and into surrounding swamps.
Central Amite Basin
* Dredge Bayou Manchac, create small reservoirs and modify bridges in increase flow beneath them.
* Store water in 10,000-acre Spanish Lake basin, with protections for nearby structures
* Dredge the upper Amite River.
* Divert stormwater to lakes near LSU, then channel to Bayou Manchac for return to Amite.
Upper Amite Basin
* Use dry land north of Interstate 12 to handle heavy rain temporarily; perhaps repurpose sand-and-gravel pits.
* Build medium-scale retention areas, with a dam north of Greenwell Springs or near the St. Helena-Livingston parish line.
* Use both concepts in combination, though land rights must be acquired; questions remain on impact downstream.
* Build a large dam near Darlington and use resulting lake for recreation; as an alternative, build a "dry" detention area and give up recreation opportunity.
* Use mix of measures to hold water, improve flow and protect or remove structures; consider voluntary home buyouts or raising homes.
The Corps study’s project development team can be emailed for more information at AmiteFS@usace.army.mil.