St. Charles reviewing hurricane levee barrier

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 8, 2006


News Editor

HAHNVILLE- Spokesmen of the LaFourche Levee Board and the Army Corps of Engineers addressed the St. Charles Parish Council at its Monday night meeting, continuing to focus discussions on where the hurricane protection levee for the region will be located.

Frank Duarte of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers appealed to the public to express their opinions as to where they believe would be a good place for levee alignments.

&#8220Our number one priority is saving lives and property,” said Duarte.

The levee project on the West Bank of St. Charles Parish is co-sponsored by the Department of Transportation, the Army Corps of Engineers and the LaFourche Levee District and has a price tag of an estimated $1.95 million.

&#8220We continue to strive to make the levee district a model for other levee projects,” said Duarte.

The levee district continues to study hurricane surge and wave heights. The levee would have to be constructed to 9 feet and 13 feet in some places, taking into account wave heights. They also continue to seek out possible levee alignments that appeal to residents and environmental groups. Secondary protection remains important to the construction and to council members.

&#8220We need secondary protection from water coming in from other parishes. St. Charles has been floundering around without levee protection,” said Councilman Brian Fabre.

&#8220It is a domino effect,” Duarte said. &#8220Sooner or later the number for St. Charles Parish will come up. The parish was very fortunate during Katrina.”

&#8220We need to do something now before our number comes up,” said Fabre.

The primary protection for St. Charles Parish is being discussed in terms of a line that will be where the levee is located. Secondary protection in the parish is needed in the event that the water spills over that line.

&#8220There are a lot of homes and industry in the parish on both banks. We have been fighting for levee protection for 20 years. We need help and we need it now,” said Fabre.

Studies into arevee protection for the West Bank of St. Charles Parish is expected to be concluded by December of 2007 and hopefully will be category 5 protection.

&#8220Secondary protection is already under way. We are in need of additional permits to begin construction on the primary protection for the parish,” said Fabre.