JEFFERSON, La. -- An expansion of storm protection in southeast Louisiana -- that’s what a gathering of mayors, parish presidents and state leaders called for Tuesday in Jefferson Parish.
It comes after Hurricane Isaac’s recent impact on the region.
Parish leaders and mayors representing a cross-section of southeast Louisiana are calling for additional hurricane protection.
With that said, they unveiled a 10-point storm defense compact meant to work in conjunction with the state’s coastal master plan.
Each parish leader saying their community has unique needs when it comes to storm protection.
Some worry about storm surge from the Gulf of Mexico, others about surge from Lake Pontchartrain, and others deal with poor drainage.
But they say to get it all done, they’ll need funding, and to get that they’ll need to speak with one collective voice.
“We need to plant our flag down and make a commitment. That is what this is all about, moving forward together as a region, in conjunction with the state, going to the federal government and saying this is a national interest, we need additional funding, the corps needs to put a priority on these projects, and we need to go into emergency mode,” said Jefferson Parish President John Young.
“We need everyone coming together, because there’s a common band. And some people have asked me, why do I feel that way?” said St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta. “Well, if you look at what happened at I-10 in President Robottom’s area with flooding, that’s our way out for the people of St. Bernard. So when that occurs, it does affect us. And that has been the message that we have been trying to get across to many people for a long time.”
“We understand and know now that it’s more than just levees. However, levee protection in St. John is critical. But there’s a three-pronged approach to protection that includes the barrier islands and levee protection and all internal drainage systems as well. And we have to look at the whole thing,” said St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom.
The parish leaders and mayors say they also want the Army Corps of Engineers to fast track the storm protection projects, much like what happened after Hurricane Katrina.