FEMA denies Grand Isle request for levee repairs - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

FEMA denies Grand Isle request for levee repairs

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Grand Isle officials got bad news Friday as they met to try and figure out a way to rebuild their first-line storm defense. The town's levees were torn up again by heavy storms three weeks ago.

Grand Isle officials were stunned last month when a massive rainstorm pushed in seas rough enough to severely damage the levees.

"Hurricane season is just a couple months away, and this is the narrowest part of the island," said Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle as he surveyed the damage to a 2,000-foot section of the levee just moments after getting word that FEMA won't help.

"FEMA has rejected the levee as eligible for funding for this emergency," said town levee engineer Oneil Malbrough.

"Something's wrong there. We're going to appeal it," added Camardelle.

The Grand Isle Levee District met to try and figure out how to shore up a shredded levee in need of an estimated $6 million in repairs. But after years of problems with the levee, the mayor wants the repair done right.

"We want to know if we belong to Louisiana and the U.S.," Camardelle said.

The levee district says rocks are needed about 200 yards off the beach to protect the levee from future damage.

"It's frustrating to ask for $6 million for a patch-up job," said Camardelle.

Rocks are already in place in other sections of Grand Isle beach. Officials said they offer excellent protection, and in some cases, build new beach. They're now needed off the western shore.

"Put some more rocks on the outside, do it right so I don't have to knock every six months to repair something," Camardelle said.
With no solution in sight right now, officials worry. Hurricane season starts in just two months.

Grand Isle officials will go to Baton Rouge next week to try and find a solution. In the meantime, the mayor said he will perform an emergency patch on the damaged levee if a storm approaches.

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