WASHINGTON— US Senator Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA) today announced that FEMA will spend $300,000.00 to develop hydraulic models for the Amite Watershed, as part of the Comite River Diversion Project. This is money that the Amite River Basin Commission will not have to spend on the project.
“The Comite River Diversion Project would protect thousands of homeowners and small businesses in the lower Comite River Basin,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We have waited for years for this project to be finished. FEMA’s promise to develop hydraulic models for the Amite Watershed is an important step forward.”
The purpose of the Comite River Diversion Project is to provide flood damage reduction for residents in the lower part of the Comite River Basin. The Comite River is a right bank tributary of the Amite River, with a confluence near the city of Denham Springs, east of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The Comite River Basin comprises approximately 348 square miles and includes portions of East Baton Rouge and East Feliciana Parishes. The project itself is located between the Comite and the Mississippi Rivers north of Baker, Louisiana and south of Zachary, Louisiana.
The Lilly Bayou Control Structure Phase I was completed in December 2003, and the Lilly Bayou Control Structure Phase II is underway. Acquisition of property to complete the project remains underway.
Currently, the hydraulic models that make up the Comite area are outdated. In response, FEMA has planned a watershed-wide Hydrologic and Hydraulic Base Level Engineering model on the Amite River Watershed. This specific project has been awarded and is expected to start within the next 4-6 weeks. The process will take approximately 10-12 months to complete.
Base Level Engineering teams will compile high-resolution ground elevation data, use regression equation based hydrology and automated hydraulic modeling, and perform a cross-section location and orientation review. This will result in baseline modeling and scalable models that can be further refined. The Amite River Basin Commission will still have to build the diversion into the model. The $300,000 that FEMA will spend to complete this specific project will come out of Fiscal Year 2016 funding.