Proposed BREC zoo relocation site flooded in August 2016

Proposed BREC zoo relocation site flooded in August 2016

Baton Rouge, La (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) - BREC is considering moving the Baton Rouge Zoo out of North Baton Rouge to Airline Highway Park in the south.

The park is owned by BREC, which officials said would save time and money by moving the zoo there.

Although, the park flooded during the historic floods back in August of 2016. Officials released a statement on the major modifications they're prepared to make to prevent flooding.


“The site is approximately 120 acres which is much more than needed for the project.  The developed site would include large areas for Floodplain Storage.  More than 39 acres is currently above FEMA’s Base flood elevation.  Additional higher ground would be created by moving dirt from the lower area of the site.  The Site would be developed so there would be no floodplain storage volume lost.

The design process would include extensive drainage modeling of the existing and developed conditions of the site to ensure that there would be no negative change to the way floodwater is conveyed within the watershed.  This would include analyzing a broad range of storm events to ensure no negative impacts to upstream or downstream properties.  

The project would be developed to meet or exceed Parish Development Codes and FEMA requirements.  During the process, engineers plan to investigate the possibility for the project to have a positive drainage impact by improvements to Wards Creek and/or Bayou Manchac.

The design process would include coordination with East Baton Rouge City/Parish, adjacent parishes, DOTD, and the Amite River Basin Commission.  Updated drainage models for East Baton Rouge Parish are being prepared and could be utilized during the design process.

It was recently reported in the local newspaper: “flooding in August 2016 that saw high water marks in the vicinity reach 19 feet.”

Many people probably understood this to be 19 feet of water (depth) on the property which is incorrect.   19 is the elevation the water reached, not the depth of the water (19’ above sea level).  The Site currently has large areas above elevation 19 including some areas as high as elevation 26.”


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