News Article

State officials stop in Ouachita Parish to talk about reducing flood risks

Date:Oct 16, 2018
Published in:KNOE

OUACHITA PARISH, La, (KNOE) - West Monroe city engineer Robbie George is talking flood issues to state officials.

"We've had a good bit of flooding and that's at the heart of this discussion,” George said. “How do we solve those? But how do we do it in a way that isn't hurting anyone else."

Back in August, Governor John Bel Edwards formed the Louisiana Watershed Initiative committee after an executive order was made.

Now, they're on a listening tour hearing from officials throughout the state on how to control flooding through watersheds.

"All of these show us that the governor and our state government is doing what they can to spend the money to places that need it for flood relief," said George.

The state is expected to receive $1.2 billion in block grants next year to go toward projects that will reduce flood risks.

Officials say the purpose of the tour is to hear from city officials on specifically where that money should go.

"Some of that will come to our area,” George said. “So we're doing this in preparation of that money to come that's going to be used for infrastructure, our drainage infrastructure projects that will benefit our community."

Ouachita Parish and the cities within the parish are already working on a flood recovery plan.

Casey Tingle with the office of Homeland Security says their job is to expand on that.

"To determine as we make investments and projects as we consider a possible policy or planning perspective,” Tingle said. “How best to incorporate that? What's the state's role? What's the local role? And understand what going on the ground."

After the tour, state officials will draft a plan. They're expected to start carrying out that plan in March of next year.