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West bank of parish remains vulnerable

Our View -   Feb 23, 2006

The special legislative session that ended last week did a good job of compromising. Instead of forming one levee board for the entire metropolitan area, it formed two, one for each side of the river.

St. Charles maintained its membership in the Pontchartrain Levee District but will have representation on the east bank consolidated board for voting on any issues that affect the parish directly. The west bank of St. Charles was not included in the west bank district.

If another storm as powerful as Katrina were to hit the coast of Louisiana as close to the west as Morgan City, the major surge from the Gulf of Mexico would come in just below St. Charles and undoubtedly would bring high water to the west bank of the parish. Whether or not it would push over the puny levees in place that protect west bank subdivisions would depend upon the force of the storm. A higher levee already under construction by the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers could already be in place along a route that was donated for the purpose several years ago.

Fortunately, our populated areas are some distance from the coast and protected somewhat by wetlands but a category three or higher storm could bring considerable damage. And at the rate that the wetlands along our coast are eroding away, we could be very vulnerable to catastrophic damage in the future.

To save the west bank from future hurricanes that come our way, we need restoration of our coast to slow down the surges and levees that will stop them.

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