Facility Tours


The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA-East) operates and maintains portions of the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS) located east of the Mississippi River in Jefferson, Orleans, and St. Bernard parishes. The system was built and fortified after Hurricane Katrina by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

FPA-East currently offers limited in-person tours of the Surge Barrier. The Surge Barrier was completed in 2013 and remains the Corps’ largest design-build civil works project. We begin the tour with a brief overview of our agency and the HSDRRS system before diving into the design, construction, and components of the Surge Barrier. You will leave with a better understanding of the Surge Barrier and our agency’s role in ensuring the physical and operational integrity of the regional flood risk management system for Greater New Orleans. Please note: The entire tour takes place on the north end of the Surge Barrier. Visitors will tour only a small portion of the structure.

What You Need To Know

  • Please read the following information carefully before requesting an in-person tour. Tours are intended for groups of 10+ people and take approximately 60-90 minutes, depending upon the group, group size, and your questions.
  • Tour availability is limited and not ADA-compliant.
  • Children must be at least 16 years old.
  • You must walk up a long ramp and a small set of stairs and step over elements such as expansion joints on the Surge Barrier.
  • There are potential fall risks from great heights.
  • School groups should ensure there are enough chaperones to properly supervise their group.
  • Strollers, infants, or unaccompanied children are not permitted on our tours.
  • The tour location has outdoor components with no canopy, so attendees should prepare for windy, rainy, or sunny conditions. It is recommended you check the local weather before you arrive.
  • Wear closed-toe, flat shoes, such as sneakers, and consider bringing items such as sunscreen, sunglasses, bottled water, and bug spray.
  • Camera photography is allowed. However, drone operation is prohibited.

You must arrange for your own transportation to and from the tour site. The tour site is located in an industrial/remote area approximately 30 miles from downtown New Orleans. We will send you driving directions and contact information after we confirm your tour. Please allow time for traffic and arrive 15 minutes early so we can begin on time.

Request a Tour

We ask that all tour requests be submitted at least two weeks before the requested tour date. Tours are scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday between 9:30 and 11:30 AM. As a state agency, we do not offer tours on state holidays and may be short-staffed during holiday weeks.

To request a Surge Barrier tour:

Please note: Groups who need to cancel their tour must inform us at least 24 hours before the scheduled start time. The ability to reschedule a cancelled tour within the same week is not guaranteed.

If interested, you can check out our virtual Surge Barrier tour by requesting a cardboard headset to watch the tour:


You can find additional resources in materials published by our partner organizations, such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and I-STORM.