Sabine River in Calcasieu Parish. Photo credit American Press Archives and Photographer Rick Hickman
Calcasieu Parish Police Jury
Hydrologic Modeling, Watershed Management Plan
Calcasieu Parish leaders face significant challenges in decision-making surrounding flooding and drainage. As anyone living near waterbodies experiencing periodic flood events knows, it is extremely important to understand the dynamics of water flow within the corresponding watershed. Uniquely positioned between three major watersheds—Sabine, Calcasieu and Mermentau—Calcasieu Parish needed to gain a regional perspective to make informed, data-driven decisions for the betterment of their local community.
The Calcasieu Parish Police Jury contracted Fenstermaker to update their existing watershed models and expand the modeling domain to encompass all watersheds within the Parish. The goal of the project was to develop an adaptive plan that included projects, programs, and policies. The Fenstermaker Hydraulic and Hydrology team analyzed multiple scenarios and conditions to account for relative sea level rise, future development, and increased storm intensity. This comprehensive study allowed the Parish to make informed decisions regarding their watershed management program.
“We need to make sure we’re taking the steps to plan not just for today, but for where the parish is going to be for the next 50 years […] This plan is for the community; it’s for the people.”
—Jeanne Arceneaux-Hornsby, PE, CFM
Our team embraced the challenge of determining model tiering within each watershed to meet Parish goals. Areas of concentration included maximum flood risk, regional project impact analysis, as well as local development impacts, project assessment, and street level flood forecasting.
In order to meet the goals of parish leaders, Fenstermaker developed a multi-level modeling approach. The larger, regional coupled 1D/2D (HUC 8 and 10) models were generated for maximum flood risk determinations and screening of regional projects, while the smaller detailed 1D models (HUC 12 and 14) with quick run times could access local measurements and were utilized for flood forecasting.