Levee Plan Upsets Property Owners

LAROSE, LA (AP) — A levee proposal by the North Lafourche Levee District is receiving flak from landowners who aren't pleased with updated plans, causing the project to stall.

         A section of the Lockport to Larose levee project, south of Louisiana Highway 1 near the Valentine bridge toward the T-Bois bridge in Larose, has been redesigned. And its anticipated width has upset some of the affected landowners who would have to sign over their right of way to the rear of their property to the levee district.

         According to one of the estimated 140 affected landowners, that's not going to happen soon.

         "Nobody is going to sign off on that," said Ray Cheramie, who owns property butting up to the existing levee on the rear of his property, which is in need of repair. "I am not signing."

         Meanwhile the area is susceptible to flooding due to the condition of the existing levee.

         Dwayne Bourgeois, North Lafourche Levee District director, tells The Courier’s Jonathan Olivier the area will have some protection once the Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee project is completed, but that could take upwards of 20 years.

         The Lockport to Larose project, with a proposed levee height of 7.5 feet, is meant to protect the surrounding communities until the Morganza project is completed.

         "Several places could probably make a stand against a flood, hopefully," Bourgeois said. "But theoretically (a flood) could threaten everything from Larose to Lockport."

         Levee district officials, through numerous public meetings and mailers, have said landowners will still retain the land title and oil and gas rights, while also noting the updated plan is the better, more structurally sound option.

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