Property Damage Claim

SELA Hotline (504) 585-2450

Monday - Friday, 9am - 5pm


The Process

These construction projects by the USACE, while inconvenient at this time, will improve the drainage capacity for the Uptown section of our City significantly. The Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans (SWBNO), being responsible for the major drainage operations in the City, has a partnership agreement with the USACE to fund 35% of the cost of their construction.

Additionally, in accordance with the agreement, the SWBNO has agreed to investigate and resolve property damage issues caused by their construction, with those costs being credited against the SWBNO’s 35% contribution. Because the SWBNO is receiving this credit for damages caused by the projects of the USACE, the USACE must review and approve the proposed compromises of claims before they are finalized.

In order to carry out this function, a licensed Professional Forensic Engineer provides the services necessary to evaluate properties and the following occurs:

  • Residents are offered the opportunity for a free pre-construction and post-construction inspection of their property by the Engineer in order to document its current condition, as well as property damage.
  • A report detailing the inspection is requested by the SWBNO once a claim is made.
  • A copy of the report is provided to the resident property owner, again at no cost, once a claim is made.

Here’s how the claims process works:


Residents initiate the property damage claims process by: Calling the SELA Hotline at (504) 585-2450 Or visiting


Once the claim is received, it is forwarded to the attention of the Forensic Engineer who contacts the resident to arrange an inspection of the property.


A report is sent to the SWBNO delineating any and all SELA construction related damage found to the property during the inspection along with a detailed estimate of the cost of repairs. A copy of the estimate is provided to the resident property owner.


In instances where there is damage, the SWBNO forwards a claim packet to the USACE on the property detailing the damages for its review and approval.


When that review is complete, assuring that funds expended on a particular claim count toward the SWBNO’s 35% contribution, the SWBNO contacts the resident property owner with a settlement offer.


Once a compromise is reached, upon execution of closing documents, a settlement check is issued payable to the resident property owner.


Although not required, at any time during the claims process the resident property owner may submit estimates and/or any other documentation believed pertinent for review in an attempt to reach an amicable conclusion.