Local leaders discuss on-going levee needs as peak of hurricane season nears

Local leaders discuss on-going levee needs as peak of hurricane season nears

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) -With the heart of hurricane season approaching, Congressman Steve Scalise participated in a flyover of local flood defenses Monday.

The focus was on gaps in the Morganza levee system as well as local flood control issues.

Congrsssman Scalise took a one hour chopper ride across Southeast Louisiana where he and other levee officials look for ways to close those gaps.

For now, the two big issues are closing up the Morganza to the Gulf system.

$450 million was already spent on 60 miles of levees.

They want to extend it another 38 miles. Officials say it is money well spent considering the performance of those levees during hurricane Barry. They say they made a huge difference.

So far that project has been funded mostly with state and local dollars and Scalise says it remains to be seen if Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes get any federal help

“We are far from getting the first federal dollar. The original estimate was $10.3 billion. We’ve got that figured much more realistic,” Scalise said.

Another big issue is levee subsidence both in Terrebonne and Lafourche but also here in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes. Local officials have a plan to address that with or without federal help.

Scalise says he will do whatever he can to assist.

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