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Sep 7, 2011 9:48 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Officials: Home-raisings prevented Lee flooding

HOUMA, La. (AP) - Terrebonne Parish officials say an aggressive effort by parish government to use federal grant programs for elevation of homes is a likely reason why so few homes flooded in Terrebonne as a result of Tropical Storm Lee.
Only five homes had reported flooding to the Terrebonne Parish Emergency Preparedness office by Tuesday, according to The Courier.
Brandi Theriot, administrative coordinator in the parish's Hazard Mitigation Program Office, says that since hurricanes Gustav and Ike, the parish has received more than $30 million in federal grants to elevate homes. There are 63 elevation projects currently under construction.
"I think it's helped a lot of people," said Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet. "We've elevated in excess of 500 to 1,000 homes."
Terrebonne Parish Planning-and-Zoning Director Pat Gordon added that the parish has also demolished more than 700 repeatedly-flooded homes and buildings through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, lessening the number of seriously-vulnerable properties in low-lying communities.
Standing water lingered in Terrebonne and Lafourche communities Tuesday as parish officials worked to drain the mess. In Lafourche, parish spokesman Brennan Matherne said the parish was relying on pumping systems working overtime to drain communities.

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