A group of Acadiana leaders got some positive recognition at the capitol Tuesday for their efforts in future flood planning.
Part of the main message at the Acadiana planning Commission’s meeting in Baton Rouge was that water doesn’t see borders, and that’s one of the main focuses of the group’s entire initiative.
"My son and I got in a boat in the flood of ’16 and started riding to see where the water possibly might stop. We crossed into three parishes. We went into St. Landry Parish, Lafayette Parish and Iberia Parish where we could not see where the parish line was. That resonated with me and I said, "I need to do something. And if we can do it, let’s do it working together," said Guy Cormier with the Police Jury Association of La.
Cormier was also instrumental in the creation of the Acadiana Planning Commission.
Leaders from across Acadiana make up the commission that’s been working together since the Historic Flood, compiling a regional watershed initiative to help prevent and protect against flooding across the area.
$99 million in flood mitigating projects have already been identified by the commission.
"We started with just a conversation, and this conversation that we started in August of ’16 because of the way we flooded brought us all the way here today," said Cormier.
Gov. Edwards even stopped in to commend the commission’s efforts, and to announce the creation of the Louisiana Watershed-based Floodplain Management Coordination. He signed the executive order at the meeting.
"This is to take to the next level what we’ve already started in the Acadiana region," said Edwards, "And it was driven by the needs of communities in a watershed. That’s why I’m excited to join all of you today as we continue these efforts."
The governor also said that many of the projects identified and prioritized through the initiative could see some of that $1.2 billion in federal flood recovery money when it comes in.