Levee projects planned for Dulac

Dulac, La. - Just five years ago, very little protected Dulac from a deluge.

"You had a hurricane and you knew that we were going to flood," says Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet. "Now we have at least a fighting chance in each and every place."

Claudet says the parish is about to get more weapons in the fight against Mother Nature.

The parish will break ground in June on the first of several multi-million dollar levee projects protecting Dulac.

The construction will connect existing ring levees from Falgout Canal to Ashland Landfill Road, surrounding neighborhoods that were vulnerable to flooding from Lake Boudreaux to the east.

There's also a pump station proposed at Cedar Grove road and another one on the western side of Grand Calliou.

All together, the projects total more than $33 million.

The parish projects act as a second layer of protection inside the interim Morganza-to-the-Gulf risk reduction system.

"If the Morganza levees are overtopped, the whole [Lake Boudreaux] basin has to fill up prior to the time that it would flood our residents so basically, we're building the ring levees around the populated areas," says Claudet.

The Morganza is also getting stronger all the time.

The Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District has already spent more than $200 million fortifying the walls, with another $100 million in planned projects.

Claudet says the two levee systems should go a long way towards protecting communities that flooded in past storms.

"We certainly feel better but yet, it's not where we need to be," says Claudet. "We need to continue to work and the best thing that could happen to us is not have a hurricane hit Terrebonne Parish for four or five years and let us get a lot more improvements up that's already in the works."

What a difference five years can make.