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Sunday, July 21, 2019

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Major floodwall and drainage project receives green light

Major floodwall and drainage project receives green light

Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph signed an agreement on Oct. 29 to begin work on the much-needed Industrial Floodwall and Drainage Project in Larose.

The federally funded agreement between the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and Lafourche Parish Government will help place an 8-foot floodwall stretching 2,648-feet on Industrial Park Road where North American Shipyard in Larose currently resides.

In addition to the floodwall, the project seeks to elevate an existing section of Industrial Park Road to 7-feet, thus improving storm protection and drainage in the surrounding area.

The project is just another example of the many needed projects that have been indentified and executed following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Industrial Floodwall and Drainage Project, which makes use of $5 million in FEMA Hazard Mitigation Grant money, is being led by Angelette-Picciola, LLC, of Larose.

Consulting Engineer Larry Picciola of Angelette-Picciola said work on the project is slated to begin in January with an anticipated completion date sometime next summer.

According to Randolph, this particular project was several years in the making and represents a major investment toward bettering the lives of many south Lafourche residents.

“Words cannot begin to express how excited I am to see us reach this point,” Randolph said. “At times it felt like we’d never get to this place, but when I sat down and signed off on it (on Oct. 29), I knew we were really there this time.”

District 7 Councilman Phillip Gouaux shares the same sentiments as Randolph, saying he will be elated once construction begins.

“I am thrilled,” Gouaux said about the Industrial Floodwall and Drainage Project. “I have people who ask me about the project all the time and to know this is finally going to happen is great news for everyone.”

Along with shoring up storm defenses for North American Shipyard, the project will serve to protect a total of 375 homes and 14 businesses besides North American from routine flooding that result from heavy rain.

“For many years we have fought side-by-side with the parish to provide protection from flooding and tidal surge for not only our shipyard on the Intracoastal Waterway, but the many residents who live near our yard on Industrial Park Road,” Edison Chouest President and CEO Gary Chouest said.

“Honestly, while I am elated to see this project get underway, I am even more happy for the actual residents of our community and what this increased protection will mean for them and their families. I was always amazed by the efforts of the residents who assisted in constructing those makeshift levees in advance of all the approaching storms we’ve had over the years. Along with the immediate area, the project is also crucial to those living north of us,” Chouest added.

Picciola said updates to the nearby T-Bois Pump Station and drainage out fall canal improvements will provide protection from at least a 25-year rain event, while the floodwall enhancements will protect the area from a 100-year flood that comes from tidal surges from approaching storms.