Myrtle Grove flooding or inundated Highway 23? Plaquemines deals with balancing act

Myrtle Grove flooding or inundated Highway 23? Plaquemines deals with balancing act

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The Myrtle Grove community in Plaquemines Parish was flooded Wednesday as a strong south wind from Harvey pushed water into the neighborhood. It's a balancing act that goes on during every tropical event, and it's something that Parish President Amos Cormier says needs to be fixed.

There's a worry that the south wind will possibly drive the water over the levee and eventually flood Highway 23. That levee is what's holding the water in the community. Underneath the levee are large holes or culverts used to drain the water during a rain event.

During a tropical event, though, the parish uses large sandbags to block those holes, and the water does not drain. In turn, Highway 23 doesn't flood.

Cormier said the parish must find a solution to the problem because it's unacceptable.

"It's unfair to have to choose between flooding Highway 23 or causing some flooding, because as you can tell, most of the community is elevated because of the location outside the levee system," he said. "What we are trying to do is balance, allow some drainage to alleviate some of the water pressure, the tidal search on this side without compromising the main corridor, Highway 23, (and) without compromising other communities in the area."

Cormier has three possible solutions to the problem, including building a canal along the levee, putting a gate on the culverts that can be lifted and closed, or building a floodgate.

All of that will take money, and Cormier said he plans to go to the Parish Council to ask for the funds. He also wants to reach out to the community for input.

For now, Cormier has opened up two of the 16 culverts on this levee to begin draining at least some of the water.

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