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Public input requested for St. Tammany Parish drainage plan

The parish is still in the data collection phase of this project but is making plans for the long term.

NEW ORLEANS — When it rains, it floods. That's the case for most neighborhoods in the greater New Orleans area. Over on the Northshore, officials are kicking off the second series of public meetings to address this ongoing problem. 

Right now, St. Tammany Parish is looking for community input for its Comprehensive Drainage Plan. 

"The parish-wide comprehensive drainage plan is a plan that's being done for the first time in our parish's history," said Parish Spokesman Michael Vinsanau. "We need to look at the entire parish, you know, it's not just a segmented smaller area. We need to look at everything as a whole."

This initiative is spearheaded by Parish President Mike Cooper, who Vinsanau said wanted to prioritize drainage improvements across the parish. They are still in the data collection phase of this project but are making plans for the long term.

Vinsanau said, "We are fighting daily to bring federal dollars, state dollars, and of course our local dollars and keep them here in St Tammany Parish, and we're going to pursue every single funding opportunity to make sure that these projects are a reality very soon."

Community members had the opportunity to attend two in-person meetings at the end of last year. The last two will be held this week. Tuesday from 5-9 p.m. in Slidell at the council chambers and Thursday at the council chambers in Mandeville from 5-9 p.m. If you can't attend in person, click here. You can not only look at what your neighbors have posted but post your own comments. Vincanau said it's key that they get feedback from every corner of the parish. 

"You know, water can back up in one community and flow into another one. Whereas, you know, there's a segmented area and that wouldn't necessarily be addressed. We need to ensure that this is something that's parish-wide and it impacts everyone. President Cooper really wanted to make sure that that's known and that we need to address that as a parish as one," he said. 

While there is no official timeline as to when the plan could be released, Vincanau said, "We have an engineering firm that is set up and ready to develop the plan and move forward. They may say this area needs improvements or something needs to be done here. We're going to combine all those things and figure out a plan."

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