THIBODAUX, Louisiana — The South Lafourche Levee District plans to finish raising the levees protecting Larose to Golden Meadow in the coming year.
The district began raising the system's levees to 16 feet in the more vulnerable southern sections and 13 feet along its northern reaches following Hurricane Katrina.
After some 4 million cubic yards of earth was moved, the district is nearing completion of that goal with this year's $36 million operating budget.
Windell Curole, South Lafourche Levee District general manager, tells The Courier (http://bit.ly/1sEaWmV ) the levee system is 5 to 6 feet higher in some places since Katrina.
In the coming months, work should be complete on a major project to move 1.6 million cubic yards of dirt over 10 miles of levee on the western side of the system from the park in Golden Meadow to the north.
The coming year will also see the raising of about 3.5 miles of levees near the LOOP facility on the eastern side of the system as well as raising of the system's northern perimeter parallel to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway on either side of the intersection with Bayou Lafourche.
The northern lift requires both earthen work and fortified floodwall along the Intracoastal, Curole said.
The wall is considered a weak link, providing only 7 feet of protection for some 2,000 feet along the system's northern perimeter. This low point is on the east side of Bayou Lafourche beginning near where the La. 308 bridge crosses the Intracoastal.
"If 10 feet of water is pushed all the way up around the system up to Larose we would have some tremendous flooding because the wall is only at 7 feet," Curole said. "That's our biggest weak point right now."
The district also plans to raise the walls tying into the Bayou Lafourche's floodgate at the southern end and fortification of its pump station and drainage infrastructure.
Information from: The Courier, http://www.houmatoday.com