NEW ORLEANS — Gentilly is one area in New Orleans where whenever it rains, it can flood. To minimize street flooding, many of the homeowners there are getting new driveways.
The construction work to make it happen at David and Mindy Jennings' home in Gentilly means the next time it rains, they'll see a little less flooding on their street and a lot less flooding in their driveway.
"It's pretty emotional actually," Jennings said.
They were selected for the "Community Adaptation Program" headed up by the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority and the city. The program is improving Gentilly homes so they'll see less rain-water runoff on the streets.
"This home will no longer contribute to that water sitting on the street," said Brenda Breaux with the New Orleans Redevelopment Authority. "So instead of rolling off into the streets, it will retain the water on the site."
The program is funded through a $5 million grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 200 homes in Gentilly were selected to receive stormwater management improvements, including permeable driveways. This costs the homeowner nothing.
"We couldn't do it on our own," Mindy Jennings said. "We feel really blessed and lucky."
A permeable driveway is essentially a bunch of small pieces of concrete and rocks so when it does rain, it collects the water rather than letting it build up.
"It'll perculate through it, through the gravel," said Dan Johnson, owner of landscaping business, Greenman Dan.
This will not only lessen the amount of flooding on one piece of property, but it will eliminate the amount of water runoff on a street to help an entire community.