Work Begins On Terrebonne's Westernmost Levees

HOUMA, LA (AP) — Terrebonne Parish flood protection planners are taking the first steps toward building the western footprint of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee system.

         The 98-mile system's newest authorization from Congress earlier this year extended its footprint about 16 miles west from the levee's former alignment.

         The Courier’s Xerxes Wilson reports the Terrebonne Levee Board recently granted approval for Delta Coast Consultants to complete a feasibility report on the final miles extending from Minors Canal into Gibson to near U.S. Highway 90.

         This report is required to plan where exactly the levee will run, how high the first phase will be and how the board will pace the construction.

         "There has been no hard design work in the area. It is just a line on the map right now," said Mitch Marmande, engineer with Delta Coast.

         The western flank of Terrebonne Parish is home to some of the area's most intact marsh. Because of that, the populated areas around Bayou Dularge are the last to get attention as the board has worked to build levees using local tax money in the footprint of Morganza in hopes of securing billions of federal dollars later to strengthen the hurricane protection system.

         "The doomsday scenario for us is a Hurricane Katrina-style hurricane making landfall around Morgan City," said Terrebonne Levee Director Reggie Dupre.

         Smaller levees built by the parish run along Bayou Dularge, but Morganza construction is currently as far west as the Houma Navigation Canal.

         The Reach F levee is under construction along the Navigation Canal starting several miles south of Dulac at the Bubba Dove Floodgate. The levee will intersect with Falgout Canal before another reach runs west to Bayou Dularge.

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