St. Charles Herald-Guide

West bank still lacks levee protection

Our View - July 29, 2011

While the East Bank of St. Charles has a completed hurricane protection levee, mostly along Airline Drive, the West Bank has a ways to go.

A long sought-after levee south of U.S. 90 to protect the parish from surges out of the Gulf still has problems confronting it.

One problem has been where to put it. The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers wanted it running tightly against the subdivisions so as not to include wetlands. The parish as a whole, however, preferred it out in the wetlands where rain and storm water collected in the subdivisions would have a place to flow. Some agreement has been reached on that.

Another problem has been money to finance it. Some good news has come on that front this week with an announcement that $6.7 million in Statewide Flood Control Program funds will go toward the project over a number of years. It’s not much but it will help in the parish’s laborious efforts to build the $100 million levee.

“We’ve had to be extremely resourceful in finding avenues that will allow us to start work on this project sooner rather than later,” Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. said this week. “We will continue to demonstrate the dire need for protection for our residents and businesses, and our state and national leaders are taking notice.”

Hopefully more revenues will be added to parish funds that are available in what has become mostly a home-made project.

In this day and age when the federal and state governments have been coming to the aid of local areas needing help, we haven’t seen much for the West Bank of St. Charles.

We need to keep on plugging and get the job done as the parish pres says . . . sooner rather than later.