Analysis to Support Louisiana's Flood Risk and Resilience Program and Application to the National Disaster Resilience Competition
Mar 1, 2016
This report describes the results of an evaluation conducted in advance of analysis supporting Louisiana's 2017 Coastal Master Plan. It includes estimates of the potential benefits for coastal Louisiana from a barrier across the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain, including reduced storm surge and wave heights, flood depths, and direct economic damage. The analysis compared five different barrier options in one future scenario reflecting sea level rise and coastal land subsidence conditions 50 years from today. It also includes new estimates of the potential induced economic damage from the proposed barrier options to Hancock, Harrison, and Jackson Counties in Mississippi, as well as to St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parishes in Louisiana.
Results show that a Lake Pontchartrain barrier could provide substantial damage reduction benefits for southeastern Louisiana, with median expected annual damage reduction benefits ranging from $1.2 billion to $1.4 billion per year. All barrier alignments considered increased flood damage in coastal Mississippi compared with a future without action, but damage inducement was typically low for the best-performing alignment options compared with total flood damage risk for the three Mississippi coastal counties. A barrier option that includes Highway 90 with its current crown and 2-ft. gates produces damage reduction nearly as high as alignments with higher crowns and higher gates, with the lowest induced damage effects on neighboring Louisiana parishes and Mississippi coastal counties. CPRA included the alignment as part of the formal 2017 assessment and ultimately selected this project for implementation as part of the final 2017 Coastal Master Plan.
Methods and Data Sources
Results from Proposed Barrier Alignments
Discussion and Next Steps