Grand Isle devises plan to repair levee

Grand Isle devises plan to repair levee

GRAND ISLE, LA (WVUE) - The Grand Isle Levee Board says it has come up with a plan to repair a gaping hole in a levee.

The hole is so large that it has swallowed up a boat that appears to have been used by refugees or drug smugglers.

"We called another emergency meeting to find the funding to repair this, and we have to coordinate with the state," said Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle.

Requests for help from the feds have so far fallen on deaf ears. And as the surf continues to erode more sand, a boat has now washed up into a nook in the levee's 400-foot hole.

"The Corps is asking us to come in and maintain it like it's supposed to be in the manual," Camardelle said.

But that's a big challenge. The Corps has so far declined to pay for the work, and with levee scouring taking place even without tropical weather, some wonder if repairing it in its current configuration is a wise move. But town leaders  believe they have to do something.

"We should be submitting the final plan as to how we're putting the matting over it," said Camardelle.

The Grand Isle Levee District is proposing a plan to patch the geo-textile fabric that makes up the inner core of the levee, and placing concrete mats and dirt on top of what's left. Grand Isle officials said the Corps is working with them on how best to proceed, but they said actually payment for the project will be made by the state, with a quarter of the money coming from Jefferson Parish.

As we start the hurricane season, Grand Isle officials hope to begin work within the next two weeks.

"Hopefully we can get this done and finished in 25 days," said Camardelle.

If tropical weather threatens before then, Grand Isle officials have an emergency plan to patch the levee with concrete rubble, that's stored about a mile away.

Before work can begin, the levee district must submit a plan to the Corps, and they hope to do that by the end of next week.

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