Tuesday, May 14, 2013:
Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West
Employees Honored for Years of Service Working to Protect the West Bank Community
SLFPA-W president Susan Maclay opens the employee recognition
ceremony, expressing her gratitude to her employees for their dedication
Commissioners and officers of the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West (SLFPA-W) gathered at the authority’s command center in Marrero recently to honor the work that SLFPA-W employees do to protect the life and property of more than 90,000 households and 7,500 businesses on the West Bank of Orleans and Jefferson parishes by maintaining the West Bank levees. SLFPA-W president Susan Maclay opened the ceremony, expressing her appreciation to her staff.
“Without the work that you do every single day, without going the extra mile and having the drive that you all have, the residents of the West Bank, our friends and families, would be in harm’s way,” president Maclay said.
President Maclay was joined by Gretna mayor Ronnie Harris and Westwego mayor John Shaddinger, who both expressed their appreciation for SLFPA-W as an organization and the work that the employees do to keep the residents of Gretna and Westwego safe from severe-weather incidents.
Westwego mayor John Shaddinger and SLFPA-W president
Susan Maclay address SLFPA-W employees
“With each day that you push yourself a little harder and complete each task to the best of your ability, you make the West Bank a safer place in which to live,” Shaddinger said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to work with the Southeast Louisiana Flood Authority –West because I know that I can count on this organization when times are tough.”
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West for many years,” Harris said. “As mayor of Gretna, I want to express my gratitude to each and every employee here today for the hard work that they have done to keep our levees secure.”
Harris and Shaddinger helped president Maclay honor employees individually, thanking them for their years of work.
Sandra Zerangue is recognized by SLFPA-W president Susan Maclay and Gretna
mayor Ronnie Harris for 31 years of service to the SLFPA-W
Sandra Zerangue is the SLFPA-W’s longest-serving employee, working with the organization for 31 years. Also honored were 8 additional employees, who worked for 25 years or more; 1 employee, 20 to 24 years; 4 employees, 10 to 14 years; 7 employees, 5 to 9 years; and 18 employees, who have worked for up to 4 years.
SLFPA-W regional director Giuseppe Miserendino, honored for more than 20 years of employment himself, acknowledged the commissioners for their work: president Susan Maclay, vice president Jim Wilkinson, secretary-treasurer Paul Dauphin and commissioners Ed Camnetar, Kendall Gaddy, Mike Merritt and Jerry Viera.
Regional Director Giuseppe Miserendino
acknowledges SLFPA-W commissioners
Employees who had no recorded accidents while on the job also were honored with safety awards.
Al Pleming, Alvin Smith, Brad Bosch, Brian Legnon, Chris Goodson, Chris Muscarello, Craig Melanson, David Roark, Delando Davis, Devon Lewis, Don Robertson, Gary Bergeron, Giuseppe Miserendino, Don Robertson, Janis Rogers, Jeff Picado, Jeffrey Lively, Jerry Strong, Jorge Alas, Kenneth Clark, Kernice Richard, Kippy Adams, Lorraine Polly, Michael Clark, Michael Gasper, Michael Griffin, Ngoc Tran, Paul Jackson, Ray Albert, Ronnie Forrester, Sandra Zerangue andTod Pertuit.
Monday, May 6, 2013:
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West (SLFPA-West) has begun patrolling the Mississippi River levee in Jefferson and Orleans parishes under its High-Water Emergency Plan.
Inspectors have documented several violations of the required 180 feet of clearance between vessels and/or their tows from any levee/floodwall/flood protection structure’s centerline. However, the Authority has communicated its concerns to the GICA and the maritime industry, and those issues have been resolved without incident. Based on these adjustments, we did not document violations over the weekend. Their cooperation in addressing these matters is appreciated.
Special recognition is given to Jim Stark, Michael Stack, Jr., Harvey Canal lock master, the maritime industry and the executive staff of the Coast Guard for their cooperation.
Visit the SLFPA-W website (www.slfpaw.org) to view a map that highlights areas where the river batture is diminished. The public is invited to follow these text alerts for the latest information regarding this high-water event.
Friday, May 3, 2013:
The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West will hold a meeting on Friday, May 24th at 10:00 A.M. at 7001 River Road in Marrero to discuss various storm preparedness issues, including the conditions for the implementation of the RNA (Regulated Navigation Area) in the Algiers and Harvey Canals.
Immediately after the meeting, you will have the opportunity to tour our emergency command center.
Invited participants include the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – West, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority – East, Lafitte Area Independent Levee District, Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, United States Army Corps of Engineers, Jefferson Parish Government, Jefferson Parish Sherriff’s Office, Plaquemines Parish Government, City of New Orleans, City of Gretna, City of Westwego, United States Coast Guard, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association, Harvey Canal Industrial Association, Louisiana Maritime Association, Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers and Fishermen, Louisiana Shrimp Association, commercial fishermen, state representatives, state senators and other public officials. Please invite anyone who can contribute to the meeting.
Please RSVP by Friday, May 17th to Ngoc Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504-371-6849.
We hope that you can fit this important event into your busy schedules. It is important to the safety of life and property on the Westbank.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013:
SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA FLOOD PROTECTION AUTHORITY-WEST TAKING PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES IN ANTICIPATION OF HIGHER RIVER LEVELS
Business and Maritime Interests Are Encouraged to Register with SLFPA-W for Email and Text Alerts
The Southeast LA Flood Protection Authority – West (SLFPA-W) has instituted precautionary actions in anticipation of rising river waters that could affect its jurisdiction. In addition, the Authority has begun to notify business and maritime interests along the Mississippi River that they must be at least 180 feet from the crown of river levees.
SLFPA-W Regional Director Giuseppe Miserendino said that residents, businesses, regulatory agencies and the maritime industry can visit the Authority’s website at www.slfpaw.org to see a map of the levee system, including the areas with diminished battures, or the land space between the river’s edge and the base of the levee. (See map below).
Miserendino said he is pleased with the initial response of the maritime interests.
“We are working closely with the maritime industry so that everyone gets the word regarding protection of the batture and the levees. There has been a very good level of cooperation, which we appreciate.”
He reminded the public, and maritime and commercial fishermen, to register for special email and text alerts by visiting www.slfpaw.org or emailing email@example.com. These text alerts will allow interested parties to also keep abreast of breaking news during the upcoming hurricane season.
Miserendino urged everyone to sign up now for the email and text alerts.
“Registration should take no more than a minute. Don’t wait to sign up for alerts. Be prepared and sign up now.”
**FOR A LARGER VIEW, CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW**
Although vessels are not allowed within 180 feet from the crown of any Mississippi River levee, the areas highlighted above are known diminished batture areas (less than 180 feet) that would allow vessels to make contact with the levees during high water events. SLFPA-W will vigorously patrol these areas.
The areas of diminished batture are along the right descending bank of the Mississippi river at river markers:
113, 109, 106, 102, 99, 98, 90, 88, 86, 84, 83
Friday, December 28, 2012:
Passing of Jerry Spohrer
It is with deep sadness that I must inform you of the passing of Gerald A. “Jerry” Spohrer on Christmas Eve after a brief hospital stay. Jerry served as Executive Director of the West Jefferson Levee District (WJLD) for more than 18 years and then in the top position of what became the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority - West (SLFPA-W) after the reorganization of the New Orleans-area levee districts following Hurricane Katrina. Since 2010, he served as Special Assistant to the President, a role in which he provided leadership and guidance on major planning and construction projects for the Authority. His advice and counsel in dealings with these projects, and with our partners at the state and federal levels, were invaluable. Prior to Jerry’s assumption of the directorship of WJLD, the West Bank’s hurricane protection system was in its infancy and consisted of little more than a few low earthen levees. It was not until Jerry became WJLD’s director in 1990 that flood protection on the West Bank finally began to come into its own.
Under Jerry’s exceptional talent and leadership, active construction began on the system, which had been federalized in 1986. It initially ran from the west side of the Harvey Canal to Bayou Segnette State Park in Westwego. He oversaw its growth into what became the West Bank and Vicinity Hurricane Protection Project, which expanded westward to include Lake Cataouatche and a small part of St. Charles Parish, and eastward to include the east side of the Harvey Canal, Algiers and parts of Plaquemines Parish. He coordinated and oversaw all of the project’s land acquisitions needs and all of its planning and construction. Today, this multi-billion-dollar project is virtually complete.
Jerry took the fledgling WJLD, professionalized its operations, turned it into the premier levee district in the state and oversaw its emergence into SLFPA-W. He will be remembered for his many contributions to this agency, its member levee districts and the people of the West Bank of Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Charles parishes. At all times, he exhibited the integrity, loyalty and judgment required of an outstanding public servant, and he will be sorely missed.
At his request, there will be no official memorial services.
Jerry and his family are in our thoughts as we approach the New Year.
Susan H. Maclay
Southeast LA Flood Protection Authority - West
Wednesday, August 29, 2012:
Inspection of Drainage Facilities/Floodwalls/Roadways on August 29, Following Hurricane Isaac
Click the picture below for the photo gallery:
Wednesday, August 29, 2012:
U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS INFORMED SOUTHEAST LOUISIANA FLOOD PROTECTION AUTHORITY-WEST THAT THE GULF INTRACOASTAL WATERWAY (GIWW) SECTOR GATES WERE CLOSED AT 8:00 A.M. TODAY
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers informed the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-West (SLFPA-W) that the Corps completed the closure of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) sector gates at 8:00 a.m. today.
The gates are part of the Western Closure Complex at the intersection of the GIWW and the Harvey and Algiers canals. They are designed to prevent storm surges from entering the Harvey and Algiers canals and threatening approximately 27 miles of levees. With this closure, pumps at the complex are able to remove rainwater from the protected side to the unprotected side.
All control structures are designed to be closed when water in the canals reaches two feet above sea level and is rising.
The sector gates will remain closed until the threat from Hurricane Isaac has passed.
To read more click
August 27, 2012:
SLFPA-W Regional Director Giuseppe Miserendino describes monitoring activity to Senator David Vitter as Hurricane Isaac approaches Jefferson Parish on the evening of August 28, 2012. SLFPA-W President Susan Maclay also led the Senator on a tour of the Command Center.
August 27, 2012:
SLFPA-W President Susan Maclay and Senator David Vitter inspecting flood protection facilities in advance of Hurricane Isaac's arrival on Aug. 28.
August 27, 2012:
Major West Bank floodgates to close Tuesday for Isaac
In preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac, the massive West Closure Complex and Harvey Canal floodgates are scheduled to close Tuesday at noon. About 70 percent of the floodgates on the West Bank have been closed in preparation for high tides and strong southerly winds from the storm, according to Susan Maclay, president of the Southeast Louisiana Levee Authority-West.
To read more click
August 27, 2012:
Approach of Isaac doesn't worry the Corps of Engineers
Almost seven years ago to the day, a system of hurricane levees and floodwalls built by the Army Corps of Engineers infamously failed to protect New Orleans -- crumbling in the face of a storm weaker than it was designed to repel, causing the deaths of more than 1,300 citizens, and inflicting crippling infrastructure wounds the city still is struggling to heal. Yet as Isaac, predicted to make landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, approached a new corps system designed to withstand a Category 3 storm, local officials expressed nothing but confidence.
To read more click
Thursday, March 22, 2012:
Locals want corps in charge of flood protection-navigation facilities
Local authorities and industry representatives are warning of threats to public safety and commerce if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers does not assume control of key components of the New Orleans region’s new flood protection system.
To read more click
December 23, 2011:
Third-party review of levees is welcome: An editorial
The following editorial ran in the New Orleans Times-Picayune on December 23, 2011: West Bank levees will be reviewed by an
independent third party, and that's a necessary precaution given the legitimate concerns that have been
raised about debris in the levees and clay quality. Sen. David Vitter said that Army Corps of Engineers officials
agreed to arrange for the outside review, and the senator was right to push for that step.
To read more click
December 21, 2011:
Independent team to examine debris on N.O. levees
The following news story was published by the Associated Press on December 21, 2011:
NEW ORLEANS — The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to allow independent experts to investigate debris
such as tree trunks, a shopping cart, chunks of concrete and bricks found in levees protecting a densely
populated suburban area of New Orleans.
To read more click
December 5, 2011:
Don't lessen concerns about debris in West Bank levee: An editorial
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on November 23,2011:
West Bank levee authority officials are worried about the structural integrity
of a $29 million levee being raised south of Marrero, and they're right to raise
concerns about debris in the levee and the quality of its clay. Large logs, chunks
of concrete and even a shopping cart and a construction crane hook have been unearthed
in test trenches that have been dug into the 3.5-mile levee that runs from the New Westwego
Pumping Station to a mile east of the Westminster Pumping Station.To read more click
November 21, 2011:
Levee-fill debris includes shopping cart, water heater
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on November 19,2011:
Test trenches cut into a problematic levee being raised south of Marrero
unearthed logs, concrete chunks, tires, hubcaps, a hot water tank and a
shopping cart, according to a blistering report by the West Bank levee
authority that questions the levee’s structural integrity. The testing also
revealed sections of wet and poorly compacted clay that prompted a levee
authority official to dub it the “jelly doughnut levee,” according to the
report released Friday. To read more click
September 28, 2011:
West Bank levee inspection shows acceptable debris levels
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on September 28,2011:
Perched atop a newly raised levee south of Marrero, a backhoe dug into the
freshly compacted clay Wednesday afternoon as two dozen engineers and levee
officials in hard hats and fluorescent vests watched. When the backhoe had dug
a 6-foot-deep trench, the onlookers put down their clipboards and began sifting
through the excavated clay spread out on a large tarp. To read more, click
September 27, 2011:
Corps of Engineers begins testing West Bank levees for woody debris
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on September 27,2011:The Army
Corps of Engineers began digging test trenches in a newly raised levee south of Westwego on
Tuesday to investigate the West Bank levee authority's concerns that the clay contains too much woody
debris. But the levee authority said the work is premature because it had not reached a written agreement
with the corps on testing procedures. To read full story, click
August 24, 2011:
Ensure the integrity of metro New Orleans' West Bank levees: An editorial
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on August 24,2011:
West Bank levee authority officials have been concerned for months
about woody debris in levees under construction, but the discovery of
a second large log in a levee being built south of Harvey is leading
them to question its structural integrity. To read full story, click
August 22, 2011:
West Bank levee authority joins call to rethink levee armoring
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on August 22,2011:
The West Bank levee authority is calling on the Army Corps of Engineers
to rethink its plans for armoring newly raised levees, joining the state
and east bank levee authority in proposing a method they believe could be
more effective and less expensive. To read full story, click
August 20, 2011:
West Bank levee integrity is in doubt, board says
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on August 20,2011:
After finding a log the size of a typical suitcase embedded in a
levee under construction south of Harvey two months ago, West Bank
levee authority inspectors warned that such woody debris could cause the
levee to subside prematurely, though they emphasized they had no concerns
the flood barrier would fail during a hurricane. To read full story, click
June 29, 2011:
Army Corps of Engineers, West Bank authority update Jefferson Parish Council on debris in levees
The following news clipping ran in The Times Picayune on June 29,2011:
After raising concerns earlier this month about chunks of wood
and other debris in diret used to raise several levees, the
West Bank levee authority said it is pleased with the Army Corps
of Engineers' response to the issue. To read full story, click here.