The Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) partnered with virtual reality (VR) company, Pyxis LLC., to produce a 15-minute virtual tour of the $4B Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System (HSDRRS), which spans three parishes. The new technology allows for viewers to fly over the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier or walk through the 17th St Canal Pump Station with the use of any VR capable headset. The video begins with the history of the HSDRRS system being born out of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and then takes the viewer airborne to the Surge Barrier where in-person tours would normally begin.
The video will also be used as a component of the FPA’s educational initiative which is geared towards the middle school science curriculum. The program has been adopted by the St. Bernard Parish School District since 2017. The FPA is currently seeking new schools to adopt the program. The VR tour also increases the FPA’s global reach as a member of I-STORM, an international network for storm surge barriers which spans 30 countries. The FPA had over 800 visitors from 10 countries to its HSDRRS system in 2019.
The virtual tour can be viewed on the FPA-East Youtube Channel by clicking here.