Metro area recovers after a week of flooding; many thinking long term

Metro area recovers after a week of flooding; many thinking long term

PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - Saturday's rains added insult to injury in areas that were just drying out after tropical storm Cindy.

From Grand Isle to Mandeville, Louisianians are dealing with a myriad of water problems, and hoping for long term solutions.

In Myrtle Grove, a favorable wind, brought sandbagging operations to a halt. But while residents mop up, parish officials worry about the next storm.

"We have 22 pump stations and 15 operators and that's an issue I have to address," said Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier, III.

Due to budget woes, those operators in many cases are parish firemen, and that's a concern.

"These engines (pump station) are complex, but even though it's been a wonderful blessing, we can't have these firemen do this because heaven forbid if an engine blows, then we are really going to have flooding," said Cormier.

There are long term concerns on the North Shore too. The water has drained off of Lakeshore Dr., but several businesses, including 'Donz', got more than a foot.

"Well I think maybe Mandeville needs to address the issue of the drainage problem. Maybe put in a levee," said owner Kathleen Tassin.

Sections of Lafitte got several feet of water, and as that area dries out,  the mayor wants real money, to ease chronic floods.

"I want to see the designs expedited...I want to see them go out for bid," said a flood weary Lafitte mayor, Tim Kerner.

But few areas were hammered as bad as Grand Isle, which lost a 500-yard section of the front portion of the levee. Town officials say they need a cash infusion to repair what's lost, and the mayor says more money is needed beyond that, as much as $10 million, to build  a permanent fix that won't wash away.

"It's important to get another pile of rocks, and do it in the winter, and come up and work off the barges, come in and build up the dikes," said Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle.

Tropical Storm Cindy was no hurricane. And she went ashore, more than 200  miles away from southeast Louisiana, but she was a wakeup call, for a region weary of floods, in search of costly solutions.
"Want to see in three years everyone down here with protection," said Mayor Kerner.

The good news...areas within the massive flood protection systems in Orleans, Jefferson and St Bernard, were largely unscathed.

Many of the projects on local leaders wish lists are not sponsored by the Army Corps of Engineers.  in places like Lafourche Parish, and Terrebonne, residents pay special taxes, that have built flood defenses that held up well, this past week.

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