100-year storm protection is overdue

As more residents seek help from flooding, the necessity of signing the project partnering agreement to bring $760 million to the West Shore Levee project becomes ever clearer.

The agreement brings together key organizations that make it possible: The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for the West Shore Levee Project at the Pontchartrain Levee District (PLD) Board Office.

The project will include an estimated 18 miles of earthen levees and floodwalls, one mile of which will be in located in St. Charles Parish. The project will benefit St. Charles, as well as St. John the Baptist and St. James parishes.

Larry Cochran, St. Charles Parish president, calls it a critical mile.

Cochran said the project is vital to the parish because it brings 100-year flood protection to the area of Montz. It will not only protect parish residents on the East Bank by providing complete levee protection, but is also the first step to helping lower flood insurance rates.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said the Coastal Master Plan calls for this large-scale hurricane protection project and, with the funding in hand, will move forward immediately. Edwards said 60,000 people will benefit from better protection.

As an example, the governor said Hurricane Isaac flooded nearly 7,000 homes in the region and emergency services, recovery efforts and commerce were hindered by having I-10 flooded for several days. Once completed, this project will help avoid repeating this kind of suffering.

Ricky Bosco, Pontchartrain Levee District president, agreed this is a significant accomplishment and expressed appreciation to Congressman Garret Graves and all of our congressional and state delegation.

It’s an agreement 40 years in the making, which Cochran said is long overdue.

Thanks goes to the many who helped make this milestone happen, but more so easing the minds of residents who have to endure floods. Everyone should be able to feel safe even in a parish with so much water that serves as the paradise and challenge of these changing times.


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