Grand Isle still waiting for storm repairs - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Grand Isle still waiting for storm repairs

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Grand Isle, La. - Hurricane Isaac stormed ashore in late August, pounding Grand Isle for more than 24 hours.

While most of the island suffered just minor damage, the storm surge chewed away at the burrito levees, taking a big bite out of the western shoreline.

More than two months after the storm, the damage remains.

"Here we are in November and I'm asking if I gotta go to Washington, we already talking about it yesterday," says mayor David Camardelle. "Whatever we got to do to push buttons to get this done."

Camardelle says the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers planned to make repairs to the levee before the storm hit.  Now the Corps says it will be June before work begins to refill and rebury the exposed levees.

Camardelle doesn't want to wait that long.  "You can see it's beautiful out here," he says. "We could have a dredge in here. We could rebuild this beach, we could rebuild this burrito levee."

The erosion problems here caught the attention of researchers from across the country.  A group of students from Connecticut began studying the Louisiana coastline after Hurricane Katrina and the lessons they're learning could protect New England from future storms.

The students from Williams College toured Cocodrie and Grand Isle this week, looking at the most recent erosion caused by Isaac.  Parts of their state were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy little more than a week ago.

"We compare that to Grand Isle and we see the very same similar effects," says Dr. James Carlton, a professor of marine science. "When the storm surges come ashore, what does that mean in terms of people's welfare, the houses, the protection of the coast? There are lots of interesting things to compare to, lessons to be learned in New England and Grand isle and to compare the two."

There will be more storms and Mayor Camardelle says the state's front line can't afford to be battered.  The mayor says he's meeting with Colonel Edward Fleming of the Corps next week, and hopes to get the repair work started before the next hurricane season begins.

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