Iberia

Jan 20, 2014 8:00 PM by Allison Bourne-Vanneck

Flood protection in Acadiana

An effort to prevent future flooding throughout Acadiana is bringing parish leaders together to tackle the issue. The discussion took place at the Acadiana Press Club in Lafayette on Monday. Representatives from Iberia Parish discussed the need for a levee. Meanwhile, shore-line protection projects are currently the focus in Cameron, Calcasieu, and Vermillion Parishes.

Parish leaders say flood protection in Acadiana boils down to funding, but a proposed tax in Iberia Parish to help fund a levee failed.

"I'll tell you what's more frustrating then failing on that tax is that I felt we failed as a group to educate the people on the importance," said Ben Langlinais who's Vice-Chair of the Iberian Levee District.

Those behind the levee project stress this is not just for those areas that flood in the parish. They say it's for anyone living nearby.

"We need to protect our economic engine. We have two ports in our parish, the Twin Parish Port and the Port of Iberia that are major economic drivers for our area. They get flooded two or three more times, there's a chance those people will move on," said Patrick Broussard, who's a member of the Iberian Levee District.

Just last month flood protection progress was made in Cameron Parish, which was funded by state money. The Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority covers Cameron, Vermilion, and Calcasieu Parish.

"We are in dire need of getting some of these projects implemented and constructed," said Ryan Bourriaque who's a board member of the Chenier Plain Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority.

"If we don't come out unified as a group and get everybody on board to understand what we're trying to do in these coastal parishes, we're going to loose a big chunk of our heritage," said Langlinais.

Iberia officials say they're currently trying to find funding to build a design for a levee. However there are no current plans for a proposed tax.

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