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

TERREBONNE, La. -- No getting around it these low lying areas in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes tend to flood even during some coastal rain events.

For years officials down here have been seeking both state and federal money to sure up the flood protection.

Since hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008, the last big storms to hit the region, Terrebonne Parish and the local levee district have raised and spent about $350 million on improvements.

But Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claude said one huge hole in the flood protection system remains. That's the Houma Navigation Canal.

The waterway is like a super-highway for tidal surges associated with hurricanes and tropical storms. It allows water pushed in from the gulf to reach more northern parts of the parish.

The parish is now constructing a barge gate on the canal that can be closed with the approach of future storms, but it won't be completed until next hurricane season.

For now, Claudet recommends residents to stay informed and evacuate if told to do so.

'All you need is a few feet of water and we're expecting that will be happening probably as the storm gets closer and we would think it would probably be sometime tomorrow morning,' Claudet said.

Parts of lower Lafourche and lower Terrebonne are now under a mandatory evacuation.

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