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City of New Orleans, Dillard University Celebrate Completion of Stormwater Management Project

NEW ORLEANS, LA — Mayor Cantrell, along with Dillard University administrators and city, state and federal officials, recently celebrated the completion of large-scale drainage improvements on Dillard’s campus, funded through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP).

The $6.5-million Dillard University Drainage Improvement Project was funded to alleviate flooding from smaller-intensity, higher-frequency storms. Project features included the installation of a larger subsurface drainage system, the widening of an existing bio-swale in the rear-most portion of the campus, detention storage features and the improvement of the Mandolin Canal and discharge pipe into the city’s drainage system.

“The City of New Orleans is proud to stand with Dillard and with our local, state and federal partners on this project, which will help retain stormwater on site and reduce flooding in the area,” Cantrell said. “Infrastructure has to be a top priority, and projects like this represent innovative strategies to live with water and to improve the quality of life for the Gentilly community.”

“We are excited to be leading in this area. As we know, handling major rain events has now become critical for the city. Dillard is now providing an opportunity to assist in this regard and for others to learn from this project,” said Walter Kimbrough, Dillard University President.

“I’m pleased with the completion of the Stormwater Management Project on Dillard University’s campus,” said U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond. “It is imperative that we continue to take proactive steps to improve New Orleans and surrounding Gulf Coast communities in an effort to protect our critical infrastructure from flooding and other regional weather threats. I’m committed to ensuring that our region remains adequately prepared for emergencies and will continue to advocate for additional resources to do so in Congress.”

“I am extremely proud to celebrate the completion of this critical project, which represents a huge step forward for Dillard University and all those living in District D,” said Jared Brossett, District D City Council Member. “We've taken great strides to reduce the effects of stormwater and implement new technologies to ensure our resiliency and prosperity moving forward. While there is still much work to be done, I look forward to the widespread positive impacts this project will have for all those in the surrounding communities.”

The mix of “gray” and “green” infrastructure in Dillard’s drainage improvements will help to not only reduce nuisance flooding on campus during heavy rain events, but also to lessen the impact on the city’s drainage system by detaining water in key areas. The Dillard project is the first in a pipeline of stormwater management improvements set to be completed around the city during the Cantrell administration utilizing $127 million in HMGP funding and will be complimented by several more projects in the Gentilly Resilience District funded through a $141-million HUD National Disaster Resilience grant.

HMGP funding is made available for eligible mitigation projects after certain federally-declared disasters, in this case, Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The city’s Hazard Mitigation Office, housed in the New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (NOHSEP), managed the grant for the Dillard project, which was submitted by the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and awarded by FEMA.

“Reducing risk is truly a community endeavor,” said NOHSEP Director Collin Arnold. “I’m proud NOHSEP was able to assist this invaluable institution to become more resilient in the face of future storms.”

“FEMA is committed to helping to reduce risk to natural hazards in New Orleans,” said Sandy Keefe, FEMA Region 6 Mitigation Division Director. “Mitigation actions are crucial for saving money, property and, most importantly, lives and FEMA will continue to support ongoing mitigation projects throughout the city with our local and st
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