In certain parts of Acadiana, it’s not a question of if it will flood but when. For this very reason, the State of Louisiana has set out to receive funding to help with flood mitigation. On March 23rd Governor Jon Bel Edwards announced that 15 parishes would be receiving a sum of 163 million dollars as part of the Louisiana Watershed Initiative. This includes several local parishes including Vermillion Parish which will see 2 projects funded. District 14 Representative Chad Vallo says this flooding has been a very important issue for his district for a while.
“It has always been a concern and has always been something that was addressed. You know it is very very disheartening when you have a close friend who is calling you constantly telling you “the water is 3 inches away; the water is 2 inches away” from getting in his/her house. Naturally, everybody especially in those areas that are prone to flood are looking for some kind of help that would somewhat prevent this or at least let the water get out much quicker.”
The Mermentau Basin Inundation Relief project which is the larger project for the parish is still in early phases with no timetable for completion as of right now.
Projects receiving funding include:
$42 million for construction and drainage improvements on the Louisiana Highway 22 bridge in Ascension and Livingston Parishes.
$25 million for Mermentau Basin inundation relief project in Cameron and Vermillion Parishes.
$15 million for drainage improvements in Livingston Parish.
$14.3 million for watershed improvements along Anacoco Creek in Vernon Parish.
$12.8 million for flood surcharge management for Bundick Lake in Beauregard Parish.
$10.2 million for retention improvements and critical infrastructure hardening along Turkey Creek in Franklin Parish.
$10 million for residential elevations and buyouts in St. Tammany Parish.
$10 million for residential elevations and buyouts in Vermillion Parish.
$6.6 million for structure hardening and runoff retention improvements along Black Bayou in Caddo Parish.
$5 million for the University Lakes flood risk reduction project in East Baton Rouge Parish.
$3.7 million for drainage improvements at LSU Alexandria in Rapides Parish.
$2.9 million for backwater flood reduction at Three Mile Lake in St. Landry Parish.
$2.7 million for flood surcharge management at Caney Lake in Jackson Parish.
$2.2 million for runoff retention and critical infrastructure improvements along Bayou Cocodrie in Rapides and Evangeline Parishes.
$1.1 million for Latt Lake drawdown improvements in Grant Parish.