NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - Nearing the end of his Covid-19 quarantine, Plaquemines Parish President Kirk Lepine is still running the parish from isolation. He was diagnosed about a week ago, and will be released just in time to respond to Delta.
“Welcome back to the storm, so I guess it’s welcome back to reality but I am feeling much, much better,” said Lepine.
Plaquemines Parish already issuing an emergency declaration ahead of Delta. Crews are out clearing canals and catch basins, preparing sandbagging locations, and inspecting pump locations. Lepine believes they’re ahead of schedule, if simply because parish crews have done this multiple times already this year.
“We have skirted quite simply with good luck I should say nothing has happened, but now it looks like this is going to get very close it’s going to be very strong so don’t let your guard down don’t be complacent have a plan and be ready,” said Lepine.
In St. Bernard Parish, fishermen and those outside the levee protection system already started bringing their property within the levee protection system. President Guy McInnis says models estimate 8 to 10 feet storm surge outside the system. McInnis says they expect to see similar flooding situations with Delta as they have the other six named storms that threatened Louisiana. He says he’s growing increasingly worried of the stubborn flooding within the MR-GO rock dam.
“That water just piling up on this community, Shell Beach, Hopedale, Yscloskey areas it just shuts it down for longer than it should be. That water just can’t come out like it came in because of the east winds,” said McInnis.
This is why for the third time this summer McInnis wrote an emergency application to the Army Corps of Engineers and CPRA. He’s doubtful the agencies will grant his request to install a drainage valve in the rock dam in time, but says the flooding there cannot continue to hurt their fishermen.
“There’s no reason to put that rock dam up during storm season at least and provide drainage so that these fishermen recreation and commercial can go to work, it’s a simple thing and we’re going to pay for it, we asked to go do it and pay for it,” said McInnis.
Parish leaders though reaffirming it’s still important as ever to stay vigilant and resilient.
Those environmental groups opposed to cutting a hole in the MR-GO fear how that will impact the water salinity in the area.
In terms of storm preparations though, parish leaders still asking folks to stay aware and prepared.
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