Commandeering of Property Use—East of Harvey Canal Floodwall,
Contract 3A, Parish of Jefferson
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the governor of the state of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with, respond to, or recover from emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquakes, or other natural or man-made causes;
WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 48 KBB 2005, issued on August 26, 2005, declared a state of emergency for the state of Louisiana due to Hurricane Katrina's potential to cause severe storms, high winds, and torrential rain that could cause flooding and damage to private property and public facilities, and threaten the safety and security of the citizens of Louisiana; and Proclamation No. 48 KBB 2005 was extended by subsequent proclamations due to the extreme damage caused by Hurricane Katrina and the continuation of emergency/disaster conditions in the most affected areas;
WHEREAS, Hurricane Katrina struck the state of Louisiana causing catastrophic flooding and damage to southeastern Louisiana, including breaches to the levee system in the parishes of southeastern Louisiana, the effects of which have threatened and continues to threaten the safety, health, and security of the citizens of those parishes, along with private property and public facilities;
WHEREAS, R.S. 29:724(D)(4) provides that subject to applicable requirements for compensation, the governor may commandeer or utilize temporarily any private property if she finds this necessary to cope with the disaster or emergency;
WHEREAS, the Governor's Office, in consultation with the Attorney General's Office, has determined that the commandeering of private property to accelerate the construction of the levee protection project is necessary to cope with the effects of Hurricane Katrina and future requests for the commandeering or utilization of private property will be considered on a case by case basis.
WHEREAS, both the U.S. and Louisiana Constitutions and R.S. 29:724(D)(4) mandate that the private landowners affected by this Order receive just compensation; and
WHEREAS, at the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority West Bank, the Department of Transportation and Development, and West Jefferson Levee District, and upon the concurrence of the Attorney General’s Office, the best interests of the citizens of the state would be served by commandeering the temporary use of certain property in the parish of Jefferson for the construction of the West Bank and Vicinity, New Orleans, Louisiana, Hurricane Protection Project, West of Algiers Canal, Contract 3A - Hero Pumping Station to Algiers Canal, East of Harvey Canal Floodwall, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Map File No. H-4-45691, drawing 1 of 3, dated June 25, 2007 (Exhibit A);
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The state of Louisiana hereby commandeers the use of certain property located in the parish of Jefferson, state of Louisiana, situated in a portion of Section 94, Township 14 South, and Range 24 East; containing approximately 1.1 acres and labeled "Limits of Required Rights-of-Way" on the attached map (Exhibit A), Map File No. H-4-45691, drawing 1 of 3, dated June 25, 2007.
SECTION 2: Said property shall be used by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Transportation and the West Jefferson Levee District for:
A. Temporary Underground Piling Easement—The project shall include the temporary and assignable right and easement to locate, construct, operate, maintain, alter, repair, replace and patrol the underground appurtenances for a flood control wall, including but not limited to steel or concrete pilings; reserving, however, to the landowners, their heirs and assigns, all such rights and privileges in the land as may be used without interfering with or abridging the rights and easement hereby acquired; subject, however, to existing easements for public roads and highways, public utilities, railroads and pipelines;
B. Temporary Flood Protection Levee (Floodwall) Easement—The project shall include the temporary and assignable right and easement to construct, maintain, repair, operate, patrol and replace a flood protection levee/floodwall, including all appurtenances thereto; reserving, however, to the owners, their heirs and assigns, all such rights and privileges in the land as may be used without interfering with or abridging the rights and easement hereby acquired; subject, however, to existing easements for public roads and highways, public utilities, railroads and pipelines; and
C. Temporary Work Area Easement—The project shall also include the temporary easement and right-of-way for use by the United States, its representatives, agents, and contractors as a work area, including the right to move, store and remove equipment and supplies, and erect and remove temporary structures on the land and to perform any other work necessary and incident to the construction of the West Bank and Vicinity, New Orleans, Louisiana, Hurricane Protection Project, West of Algiers Canal, Contract 3A - Hero Pumping Station to Algiers Canal, East of Harvey Canal Floodwall, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, together with the right to trim, cut, fell, and remove therefrom all trees, underbrush, obstructions, and any other vegetation, structures, or obstacles within the limits of the right-of-way; reserving, however, to the landowners, their heirs and assigns, all such rights and privileges in the land as may be used without interfering with or abridging the rights and easement hereby acquired; subject, however, to existing easements for public roads and highways, public utilities, railroads, and pipelines.
SECTION 3: The state of Louisiana hereby commandeers the temporary use of the property required by the Department of the Army as indicated on the attached drawings (Exhibit A) as this overall project is reasonably related to the impact of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The temporary use of all property identified above is commandeered pursuant to R.S. 29:724(D)(4). Said owners of the property the use of which is so commandeered shall be identified and compensated by the Department of the Army. I take this action with the understanding that Department of the Army shall take all necessary steps to initiate the process of expropriation and landowner compensation without unnecessary delays upon the issuance of this Order.
SECTION 4: The Division of Administration, State Land Office, shall take immediate steps to grant the right of entry to the property commandeered for the above purposes pursuant to this Order to ensure completion of the project without delay and to provide necessary safeguards to the citizens of the parish of Jefferson.
SECTION 5: This Order is effective upon signature and shall continue in effect until amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 24th day of September, 2007.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State