Corps gets earful about another flood meeting

Vermilion Parish residents had a lot to say to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Thursday on the subject of flooding.

For three hours in the Abbeville High gym, Corps officials listened to residents on their thoughts on ways to stop the flooding for the first-ever Southwest Coastal Louisiana Protection Study, backed by U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany.

The scoping meeting is the second part of a study that is expected to take 30 months.

The Corps of Engineers are doing yet “another” study to fix the flooding problem in Vermilion Parish, which did not sit too well with many in the audience.

Close to 200 people gathered to give their opinion to the Corps of Engineers. They broke up into groups and representatives from the Corps wrote down resident’s suggestions on ways to stop flooding.

Mike Martin, who lives in Erath, said, “I remember in 1995 they (Corps) had a coastal restoration study. It seems like it will take too long.”

Rose Broussard is a long-time resident who lives near Pecan Island. She asked the Corps “Why is it going to take 30 months to do the study? Why three years?”

Lee Montet of Henry wanted to know if there was any way to cut the study down from 30 to 12 months.

“The only way to get construction funding (from Congress) is through this study,” said Mark Wingate of the Corps.

Residents offered different suggestions on how to stop flooding.

Coy Durke, who lives near Seventh Ward Elementary and is a pilot for Omega, said “Our flooding is coming from the east side of Marsh Island.” He suggested to the Corps to build back up the reefs in Iberia Parish to stop or slow down the storm surges from hurricanes.

Two people gave ideas to the Corps about using other things for hurricane protection.

Judge Edwards, who oversees Vermilion Cooperation, suggested the debris from the Henry school could have been used as some-kind of coastal protection.

Ethan Suire, who is 81, suggested the government sink its old Navy ships along the coast of Louisiana for protection.

Errol Domingue, a police juror from the Erath/Delcambre area, said a protection levee of more than four to six feet is needed along the south side of the Intracoastal Canal.

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