As discussions regarding drainage and stormwater management in Acadiana continue, and regional and local officials are identifying projects for funding, 1A is connecting the public and private sectors to engage and inform the community.
Leadership of the Acadiana Planning Commission (APC) and Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG), engineers from UL Lafayette, and representatives of the development community joined 1A investors and members for a forum on regional drainage. Panelists discussed basic hydrology and modeling, ongoing collaborations around drainage and stormwater management, and the path forward for Acadiana.
Dr. Emad Habib and Dr. Robert Miller of UL Lafayette laid the foundation for the panel with a presentation titled “Perspectives on Flooding in Acadiana.” The presentation addressed misconceptions about extreme flooding events and how capacity-building around monitoring and modeling can help communities become more resilient.
A top priority the panelists emphasized is the need to develop a regional hydrologic and hydraulic model, to provide better data on Acadiana’s watersheds. Panelists explained that a model would inform decisions on which drainage and flood-control improvements would have the greatest regional impact. The APC Board recently voted to allocate $2.4 million in FEMA hazard mitigation funding to an eight-parish gauge project that will produce data that could be incorporated into a model in the future.
Without having robust monitoring and modeling in place yet, one of the biggest questions in selecting drainage projects is “Where do you start?” “Everywhere,” said Mark Dubroc, LCG Director of Public Works. LCG recently laid out plans for drainage improvements across the parish. Much of the funding for these projects comes from $9 million in one-time funds and $2.5 million in annual funding, which voters recently approved rededicating from an existing public health millage.
1A will remain plugged in on these issues, keeping our investors and members informed, and providing a voice on behalf of the regional business community. We are aligned to connect by ensuring ongoing dialogue between the public and private sector on this issue, which is critical to Acadiana’s economic health and long-term prosperity.