Governor Edwards talks about coastal defenses after Hurricane Zeta

State officials toured damaged coastal areas

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - State officials toured recently damaged coastal defenses Friday hit hard by Hurricane Zeta.

Governor John Bel Edwards today said that Hurricane Zeta slammed South Lafourche last week as a category 2 storm and one look around Leeville is a testament to its destructive power.

“Leeville got really tore up with water and wind and it’s devastated,” said Lafourche parish councilmember Daniel Lorraine.

Leeville is vulnerable. It lies outside Levee protection systems which held up well during recent storms, but offshore, not so much. Significant amounts of sand washed away on the barrier island of Grand Isle, considered by many to be the state’s first line of defense against storms. And state officials are moving quickly on Grand Isle repairs.

“A hurricane could be in the Gulf early next week so we will get Hesco baskets down there with dirt and rock,” said Chip Kline with La. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

While the state looks at short-term fixes, they know that for the long term much more needs to be done.

The state spends roughly $1 billion a year on coastal restoration efforts and the governor says It should clear a significant milestone in three years.

“When those projects are complete we will be generating more land that we’ve lost,” said Governor John Bel Edwards.

Though the state has been invested in several marsh restoration projects around Leeville, it will continue to lie in harms way.

“It’s gonna be their curse forever but the ones who build back the right way according to Fema guideliines, will survive,” said Lorraine.

Utility crews were scattered across South Lafourche trying to restore power there. The governor says power should be restored across the state by next week.

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