Area parishes getting protection

At last – finally.

Congress has approved four years after okaying the funding for a $760 million hurricane protection levee to protect the east bank of St. John the Baptist Parish and parts of neighboring St. Charles and St. James parishes from storm surges that could be caused by the so-called 100-year storm or a hurricane with a one percent chance of coming up any year.

The project is part of America’s Water Infrastructure Act, which is funded by $1.4 billion in federal money for various flood and hurricane protection projects.

“This is one of the largest investments in flood protection in Louisiana history,” said U. S. Rep. Garret Graves who worked on the legislation and sped up its funding with U. S. Sen. Bill Cassidy. “This is one of the largest investments in flood protection in Louisiana history. No more studies. We will be turning dirt and protecting our families.”

St. John the Baptist Parish is outside the federal levee protection system that surrounds most of New Orleans to Norco on the east bank of St. Charles Parish. It has no large pumping stations like its neighbors, St. Charles and Jefferson Parishes. It, instead, relies on gravity to drain water to Lake Pontchartrain.

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