Comite River Diversion Plan
Published December 9 2017 updated July 9 2021 3 min. 15 seconds read
Opinion: We need to start looking at plans like this but in a larger scope of support. Funding needs to cover B.F.E. each time B.F.E. changes. Current drainage needs to be optimized and people need to learn to clean their private ditches.
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During my "Morning News Briefings" I was informed that a Congressman Garret Graves was pushing forward the Comite River Diversion Plan. Or maybe just spending a bit of time updating the now 12+ year old plan.
Not being a water flow engineer and not really liking the formula of calculating the amount of water flow in an open ditch.
I have to say the Comite River Diversion Plan is a sound plan only if the following is included with the plan.
1. Elevate all building structures to the minimum above ground height required by our NFIP / FEMA Flood Maps.
Elevation needs to be part of the plan or floods like the 1983, 1977, 2016 will always be looked at like a Thousand year flood.
According to the plan, the Amite river would be 1.5 feet lower were the Comite and Amite combine.
In the case of the 1983 flood it would be safe to say if the pumps all worked and the gates all opened and they for some reason or by an act of God lowered the Amite river enough to cause a back-flow NORTH many miles to allow the diversion of 11 inches of rain over Denham Springs to be pumped into the Mississippi North of the City of Baker all would have been saved.
In the case of the 2016 flood which would have been once again the "Thousand Year Event" we needed to pump more than 2 times the amount that the Comite River Diversion Plan would be able to handle. Once again, we would need to pump water North many miles to divert it to the Northern Bayous and the Mississippi River north of Baker.
At the estimated 1.5 feet drop in the Amite by the diversion plan the 2016 flood water level south and southeast of the Amite / Comite would have been 43.3 feet. (46.2 - 3.1 = 43.3 feet)
If everyone elevated their homes to the new BFE established April 2012 most everyone would have had very minimum flood damage. But that would have required every home and business to elevate to at least the BFE of 2012.
I'm not an engineer but I can read a topographical map.
Without every home and business elevating each time the FEMA Flood Maps change you can't dig holes fast enough.
Not to mention the fact you will never be able to predict 30" rain falls over specific geographical areas.
The Congressman says on his website that it will cost $300,000,000.00 to build.
I want to know the total value of all protected assets that this $300,000,000.00 will protect.
I know even if the project was completed our home still would have had 12" of water in it.
The home was built to BFE established in the 50's, matched the BFE of the area until 2012 which magically made our BFE 3 feet higher than our homes floors.
Until the project includes elevation we will always see flooding.
If you say, BFE this year is 3 feet higher than your foundation floor then that floor has to go up, help elevate so the $300,000,000.00 project that lowers water in our area by 1.5 feet actually makes us a Flood Zone protected by the project instead of a flood zone no matter how high we elevate.
Here are the resources I used today.
PROJECT FACT SHEET
Comite River Diversion Canal Project
Official Project Name Comite River Diversion (US Army Corps of Engineers)
Flood Control, Amite River and Tributaries, Louisiana, Comite Riverr Basin, Comite River Diversion Project
Comite River Diversion Canal Project
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