Antwan Harris / Eyewitness News
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LULING, La. St. Charles Parish officials will break ground on a new levee project in Luling Wednesday, a step towards improving hurricane protection for over 25,000 residents.

Before the new levee project the west bank of St. Charles parish had virtually no storm surge protection and parish officials estimate roughly $10-billion worth of property goes unprotected on the west bank so to them, and the residents of the parish, any levee system is a step in the right direction.

The new levee project will offer protection to area that has been declared a natural disaster area fourteen times in the last thirty years, the most recent of which was Hurricane Isaac which caused more than $2-million in damages. While the parish avoided much of the heavy flooding, it sustained major wind damage associated with hurricane.

The parish has been working with the Army Corp of Engineers and the state of Louisiana for several years on a levee protection plan and most recently was awarded both federal and state funds for this project.

At a price tag of $500-million it's a long-term project that will be split into four reaches. The first phase will call for a five-and-a-half foot levee that reaching seven feet by the completion.

The levee will be 33-miles long in total and calls for additional collection reservoirs and pumping stations.

The St. Charles Parish Council will break ground later Wednesday afternoon in an event that is open to the public.

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