People of Lafitte give Corps officials an earful - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

People of Lafitte give Corps officials an earful


Jefferson Parish, La. - Two and half months after Hurricane Isaac, and lower Lafitte is on the rebound.

Mayor Tim Kerner calls it resilience.  "It's hard but a lot of them can actually gut their houses and go back to rebuild," says Mayor Kerner.

During the past seven years, some residents of Lafitte have lost their homes as many as five times.  While their determination keeps them coming back, many are getting fed up.

At a public meeting, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discussed its 300-page post-storm study with the people of Lafitte.  The Corps says the tidal surge was just a couple of inches higher in Crown Pointe, due to improvements to the north.

As Isaac started making landfall, the people of Lafitte began an intense flood fight using 200,000 sandbags, 1,000 rock bags and something called geo-tubes filled with water to create walls or levees.

"You build these walls up for a couple of miles and we only lost that fight by an inch. The problem is when an inch of water comes over for miles, it's impossible to stop it," says Mayor Kerner.

Hundreds of homes flooded with five or six feet of water.

"All of our misery is caused by the Corps of Engineers so they should step in and try to help us solve it," says Mayor Kerner.

The Corps points out that Isaac was unique, and it says the impacts of the hurricane would have been similar with or without 100-year storm protection.

"The fact that it took a certain track on the western side of the greater metro area and it moved very slow was a factor. It sat around for a while and caused a lot of problems for folks," says Col. Ed Fleming.

The Corps admitted that more work is needed to fully protect Lafitte.   Colonel Fleming says he's doing his best to get more federal money to make that happen.

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