Parish Battles back LeeSep 14th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: news
Tropical Storm Lee made landfall last Friday and during the onslaught of rain and wind over the weekend managed to shut down a large portion of Highway 23 for days after the storm.
The storm, which caused the Parish President to declare a state of emergency on September 2, hit the Parish with over ten inches of water during the weekend. As the waters rose, 6 miles of the back levees by Myrtle Grove were overtopped by the rushing waters.
“The floodwaters forced officials to shutdown Highway 23 to traffic midday Sunday from mile marker 46 to mile marker 50 south of the town of Myrtle Grove,” said the administration in their statement.
Sheriff’s deputies diverted the traffic and many used the ferries to avoid the flooding entirely.
Those working through the weekend were able to prevent some flood damage from spreading into even more areas of the Parish.
“I can’t emphasize enough the dedication of the parish employees, Sheriff’s deputies and everyone else who worked through the holiday weekend,” President Billy Nungesser said. “They spent it working around the clock to protect homes and business.”
The Parish President also thanked state workers from the Department of Transportation and Development, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), and the Governor Jindal’s staff for their assitance in the face of the potentially dire situation. Nungesser also personally thanked the Council members, specifically naming Burghart Turner, who was out placing sandbags in the late hours and early mornings.
“The flood fight was successful in protecting homes,” Nungesser said. “But we have some serious concerns moving forward. The Corps has continually pushed back the start of construction on the back levees, and now they’re changing the plan altogether. Meanwhile, the levees are in worse shape now than they were a week ago, because the water that overtopped the levees ate away the slope.”
Nungesser stated during his address to the Council this week that he would be seeking alternate plans for quickly completing levee projects in the Parish, and that the Corps. is clearly premature in celebrating the 100-year storm protection system.
“I’ve let everyone know that this is unacceptable for Plaquemines Parish,” said Nungesser.