CUTOFF, La. - Crews are working to raise miles of levees in South Lafourche Parish.
But levee district officials say a contractor is afraid to work on a roughly quarter mile long section in Cut Off. A new shooting range points toward that part of the levee.
“It makes the hair go up in the back of your neck,” said S. Lafourche Levee District General Manager Windell Curole. “One bad shot, it could cause some damage.”
It’s clear where the work on the levee has been suspended.
Levee district officials say the levee is about 1,000 yards from the shooting range, and according to their experts, there are bullets that can fly much farther.
“We found that even a .22 caliber could hit this area, we also know that [the owner] has a sniper rifle people shoot, and that thing can travels two miles,” said Curole.
Now, the South Lafourche Levee District is suing Eymard Shooting Academy. It says there aren't enough safety measures in place and wants the range shut down altogether.
According to our partners at the Houma Courier, attorneys for the shooting range argue that an injunction to stop the facility from operating would violate the constitutional rights of the owner, Hugh Eymard.
Eymard said his lawyers advised him not to comment.
Still, a contractor for the shooting range says the facility is shut down for a few weeks while crews build up an existing berm meant to block possible stray bullets from going off the property.
Meanwhile, Levee District officials say, they're not opposed to a shooting range. They just want documentation that proves it's safe.
"At this point, we don't think it's safe. Experts haven't told us it's safe," said Curole. “We cannot afford to have businesses which will stop us from being able to protect the entire community."
A court date has not yet been set in this case.
The $9.6 million levee project is set to be complete next month.