Levee plan in January, says corps
Environmentalists itching for a fight no matter what engineers decide
Duarte highlighted the advantages of the levee that would run through the Barataria Basin along the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway, also known as the “GIWW alignment.”
According to Duarte, this “shortcut levee” is straighter and shorter - only 23 miles long, verses 53 miles for the Hwy 90 levee alignment. This became especially important since the cost of fill increased from $9 a cubic yard to $28 a cubic yard after Hurricane Katrina, said Duarte. Another advantage is the shorter levee would include Lafitte and would protect the most people, 347,000 residents.
Council members Snookie Faucheux and Brian Fabre told Duarte that they were in favor of the shortcut levee. But Faucheux said that west bank neighborhoods still would need to be protected from Lakes Salvador and Cataouachi.
"If we don't have a levee between the wetland/development line, a hurricane could push the waters from these shallow lakes into our neighborhoods like what happened to the north shore," Faucheux said, explaining that Katrina's strong winds pushed the waters of Lake Pontchartrain into surrounding neighborhoods on the north shore, causing major flooding. He called this "The slosh effect".
At the meeting Monday night Duarte cited flood-control projects in Holland that often use two lines of protection in case one is breached.
"Since the GIWW levee would be close to the Gulf of Mexico, if a big storm comes it would hit that first. St. Charles Parish local levees would offer secondary protection in the event the primary protection fails," he explained.
Environmentalists not keen on alignments
But Barry Kohl, president of the Louisiana Council of Environmentalists, told the St. Charles Herald-Guide that the environmental community would not support either of these alignments. Environmental groups would only approve levees built along the edge of developed areas.
According to Kohl, the groups he represents don't support building a levee across the wetlands, which is what the shortcut levee would do, and the Hwy 90 alignment could cause water to back-up in Des Allemands, he said.
And Kohl says the law is on his side - there's legislation on the books to prevent either of these levee alignments from being built.
"Any structure that would change the 'hydraulics' of the wetlands cannot be built," said Kohl.
"We don't have to fight it, it's already law," he explained.
"The reason they (St. Charles Parish) are in this predicament in the first place is because they let the land developers and contractors build the homes without adequate protection," he emphasized.
"The prudent way of approaching this would be to build the hurricane levee behind the developed areas and manage the coast with coastal restoration, " he said, adding, "It just goes on and on.
“ I've seen this for 30 years. They drain the marsh and build houses on it. How far south and how close to the Gulf are we going to subsidize development?"
Comments? Send yours to firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscribe Today and Save!!!
St. Charles Herald-Guide is an award-winning newspaper that covers all aspects of St. Charles Parish - from schools and parish government news to social events, features on our local residents and sports.
Order your subscription today!
Imagine belonging to an online chat room on Skype with friends haunted by a...
Destrehan boys basketball coach Todd Bourg is excited about his team’s prospects...
Nineteen years ago, Richard Whitney Jr. and his wife took a look at an, at the...
Although St. Charles Parish officials don’t have a figure yet, they’re saying the...
With this week’s arrest of a New Orleans East man, Jolene Dufrene may have gotten...
An emotional Jamie Loyacono of Metairie pointed to a photograph, one of many in a...
Your One Stop Home Improvement Shop...
Family, friends support murdered Des Allemands mother’s son - 1361 views
An emotional Jamie Loyacono of Metairie pointed to a photograph, one of many in a framed collage about Lindsay Nichols’ life, showing her child standing alongside Nichols and her son, Peter Paul Rose Jr.