NEW IBERIA — Iberia Parish government is in its first phase of a five-year plan to address flood protection and coastal conservation.
People living in the parish should start to see changes next year. Currently, they are engineering designs for a five year plan.
In a recent meeting, the Iberia Parish Council voted to pass a plan called the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), something they hope will prevent future flooding. That plan follows the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority's (CPRA) state master plan.
"We have to keep the water levels down, so whenever we do have some rain, it can take some rain before we actually start to top slide," says Parish President Larry Richard.
The plan will place three flood structures on channels inside the parish: Peebles Coulee, Segura Road East and the Jefferson Canal.
"Once those channels are full of water, it goes all in to Iberia Parish," says Richard. "Peebles Coulee alone goes into the Gulf of Mexcio, but it floods all the way to West Gate High."
Each structure will cost roughly $1,875,000.
"It kinda works like a flood gate, sorta," Richard explains. "But it's totally engineered to prevent water coming in through the channels."
Costing roughly $6,000,000, Richard says the plan will not cost the tax payers any money. Instead the funds will come directly from GOMESA.
"We'll be using GOMESA dollars, which are funds we receive annually," says Richard.
Construction on the first structure is set to begin July 2020.