Project to raise 1,000 homes and restore marsh areas in Southwest Louisiana moves forward

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has received hundreds of millions of dollars to elevate homes and businesses in Southwest Louisiana. Corp of Engineers Senior Project Manager Darrel Broussard says this money will be used to elevate at-risk structures.

“We only have about $300 million that’s been allocated so far. So we project that with the $300 million we’ll touch 800 to 1,000 structures.”

The elevation of 1,000 homes in Cameron, Calcasieu, and Vermillion parishes could begin by January 2024.  The home’s elevation levels will provide protection from surge flooding that has a 1% chance of occurring as a so-called 100-year event in 2075. Broussard says hundreds of residents will be protected against flooding when the next storm comes.

“So the average raise will be somewhere between 3 to 5 feet and some of them can go as high as thirteen feet. We’re not raising any structures above 13 feet but it’s going to depend on what the current elevation of the structure is.”

Broussard says this is part of the Southwest Coastal Louisiana Risk Reduction Project. He says additional environmental restoration projects aimed at restoring marsh areas will also be included.

“We have critical infrastructure that is already starting to lose marsh. We’re going to be replenishing it and putting it back. So hopefully this adds to the multiple lines of defense so that by the time the storm gets to the structure, the coastal restoration features will help slow the storm down.”

Congress has already appropriated $300 million. Additional funds must still be appropriated to elevate as many as 2,500 additional homes.

 

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