Levee debris removal begins in Plaquemines Parish

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wwltv.com

Posted on October 15, 2012 at 6:19 PM

Updated Monday, Oct 15 at 6:47 PM

Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
Email: pmurphy@wwltv.com | Twitter: @pmurphywwl

POINTE A LA HACHE, La. -- There is another milestone in the hurricane recovery down in Plaquemines Parish: Crews are now working on both banks of the parish, clearing debris littered along the federal levees as Isaac blew across the area for about 60 hours.

"It is a step forward, you know," said Reece Lacross, who is now rebuilding his family home not far from the Mississipppi River in West Pointe a la Hache.

He calls the debris removal a welcome sight.

"It good to see it being moved out, you know. The faster the better, you know so we can get back."

Plaquemines President Billy Nungesser said picking up the thick mix of marsh grass and other trash won't be easy, especially on the east bank of the parish.

"We've got a lot of homes that moved to the levee and a lot of homes that broke apart, modular homes especially, mobile homes," said Nungesser. "There's marsh grass, there's a lot of bottles, cans, docks, boats, lot of stuff mixed in, but I would say two-thirds of it is that thick marsh grass that we've all over brought in from the storm."

Debris is now stacked up along the river levees and so-called back levees built to protect against storm surge from Barataria Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.

"I've heard tens of million of tons. I mean it's unbelievable. Way more debris in these areas than we saw for Katrina," said Nungesser.

Reece Lacross hopes the tons of storm debris will help make the case for better hurricane protection in Plaquemines.

"I'm 8 foot up in the air and I still got water in the trailer," said Lacross. "So, how high do you really need to go for you to be able to say, well okay, he's high enough now, he ain't going to get flooded?"

Crews are expected to pick up about 60,000 cubic yards of storm debris from the levees on both banks of Plaquemines Parish. The total price tag now stands at about $6.8 million.

 

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