SCP needs flood of cash to protect citizens from storm

April 04, 2007 at 1:48 pm  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Parish President Albert Laque
Photo by Shonna Riggs
Parish President Albert Laque
St. Charles Parish President Albert Laque won’t take no for an answer when it comes getting the money needed to complete the work on the levees before hurricane season starts this year.

Laque has asked - yet again - for help from the governor, state and U.S. senators and other officials to get the funding that is needed to protect homes and businesses from flooding caused by storms and hurricanes.

"Our levee meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers in late March had nothing to do with helping St. Charles Parish with its levee problems," a frustrated Laque told the Herald-Guide exclusively.

"I looked around the room and I saw maps of every parish the Corps was concerned about, but I didn't see one belonging to our area."

Laque attended the March 27, meeting in Hahnville, hoping to get some conclusive answers about when the levees would be built to completion and where the money would come from to fund the work.

"It's costing us $700,000 a year out of our parish budget to fix the levees and other parishes like Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard get assistance from the federal government, but we can’t," he said.

Laque said the only way to qualify for the federal money is to be included in the federal budget.

"I traveled to Washington, D.C. a week ago and spoke with Louisiana Sen. David Vitter and he said the parish would be added to the federal budget by October,” said Laque, adding: “But I can't say whether or not it will happen."

Laque said he spoke to Gov. Kathleen Blanco on March 28 requesting additional funding from any source available to her.

"Levee protection is just as important in St. Charles Parish as it is in Orleans, Plaquemines and St. Bernard, and the governor assured me that she would work with us to get the additional three to four million dollars we need to finish the work on our levees," Laque said.

"With the nuclear power plant, chemical plants and oil refineries in this parish, we definitely need the protection.

“What would these other parishes do for power if the nuclear plant is destroyed because of flooding caused by a hurricane?

“I think we’d all be in trouble.”

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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Waterworks employee retires after 31 years of service
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Parish President Cochran presented Rusty Champagne with a certificate of recognition for his 31 years of service in the St. Charles Parish Department of Waterworks.

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