The Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Risk Reduction Project, known as SELA, is generally dedicated to reducing internal rainfall flooding by improving drainage. Since its inception in 1996, SELA has initiated large-scale projects on both sides of the Mississippi River, protecting the lives, health and property of local residents after years of inadequate rainwater drainage and recurring flooding.
SELA funding covers major drainage and pump station improvements, while separate local parish agencies and departments are responsible for maintaining the networks of subsurface drains and ditches, smaller pump stations, and retention ponds. The Army Corps of Engineers oversee the design and construction of hurricane protection levees and flood gates, while the East and West Bank Levee Districts are responsible for maintaining the entire System when construction is complete. All of these work together to protect our homes and property against flooding from heavy rain events, as well as those produced by tropical storms and hurricanes.
All told, SELA projects in Jefferson Parish will improve twenty-four drainage canals, install additional capacity to four pump stations, and build two new pump stations–for a total cost of almost $1 billion. To date, approximately 80% of SELA projects are complete in Jefferson Parish and the remaining are on schedule for completion by 2017.