DuBos: Far from done with flood protection

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 11, 2012 at 6:35 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 11 at 6:41 PM

The recovery from Isaac also gives the chance to review what worked and what didn’t, in terms of flood protection. In his Commentary this week, Eyewitness News Political Analyst and Gambit columnist Clancy DuBos looks at where those efforts need to go from here - in the wake of Hurricane Isaac.

Clancy DuBos / Eyewitness News Political Analyst

It’s taking a while for things to get back to normal after Hurricane Isaac, especially in areas that flooded.

If hurricanes can ever bring good news, there was at least some of that with Isaac. For starters, the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA did much better this time than during Hurricane Katrina. FEMA got here early and was fully prepared. The Corps closed off its new floodgates, and the new $14 billion flood protection system worked as designed.

But we’re far from done with flood protection. If anything, Isaac underscored the need to keep building. Massive flooding in southern St. Tammany and LaPlace proves that we need to continue — and expand —efforts to reduce storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain. The unprecedented flooding in Braithwaite shows that more of southeast Louisiana needs to be added to the regional flood protection system.

As a starting point, the Corps should design and build floodgates at Chef Pass and the Rigolets — to close off Lake Pontchartrain before it fills up with storm surge.

That may sound like an expensive project, but it won’t be nearly as expensive as failing to protect all of southeast Louisiana from future floods.

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