After 42 Years: Corps commits funding for study of hurricane protection project

In 1970, St. John the Baptist Parish (St. John) raised objections to the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project based upon the lack of hurricane protection levees west of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway. St. John argued that the development of hurricane protection levees from Orleans Parish to St. Charles Parish would funnel the storm surge to St. John the Baptist Parish thus consequently sacrificing St. John to save others: and it happened; click here to see . . .

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In July 1971, a resolution was passed in the Committee on Public Works of the House of Representatives authorizing the Corps to include the remaining portion of St. Charles Parish (from the Bonnet Carre’ spillway Upper Guide Levee to the Parish line) and St. John the Baptist Parish in the Lake Pontchartrain and Vicinity, Louisiana Hurricane Protection Project. 

After over forty years . . .

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday committed the funding needed to finish studying the viability of the West Shore Lake Pontchartrain Hurricane Protection Project.

The potential project is intended to protect the areas that were most harmed by the storm surge and flooding of Hurricane Isaac last year, particularly St. John the Baptist, St. James and St. Charles parishes.

The Corps of Engineers is allocating nearly $830,000 to complete a chief’s report by next year on the feasibility of the project. Although President Barack Obama committed to funding the project when he visited LaPlace after Isaac, his initial budget proposal this year did not finish funding the study. But the new corps allocation under Obama remedies the issue for now.

“President Obama promised Louisianians help after Hurricane Isaac, and now he can finish out this feasibility study, instead of waiting for another devastating hurricane to hit,” U.S. Sen. David Vitter, R-La., said in announcing the funding.

U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and U.S. Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-New Orleans, also wrote a joint letter earlier this month to the Obama administration requesting the funding.

“… The need to expedite completion of the project’s feasibility study was clearly demonstrated by Hurricane Isaac last year when approximately 10,000 homes in the project area were flooded,” Landrieu and Richmond wrote. “We stood next to President Obama days after Isaac as he said, ‘We’re getting on the case to figure out what happened here and what we can do to make sure it won’t happen again.’ ”
ADVOCATE WASHINGTON BUREAU

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