August 19, 2018
Editorial by HoumaToday.com
The Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee project will ultimately help protect much of our region from storm surge resulting from extreme weather in the Gulf of Mexico.
The project is 98 miles of levees, locks and floodgates. It will go a great distance in making the vast majority of Terrebonne-Lafourche residents and businesses safer from future storms.
And work is progressing, meaning we are already deriving some protection from the structures.
That work is taking place thanks to the tireless efforts of the project’s advocates and to local taxpayers who voted in favor of taxes to pay for this protection.
Local and state governments and people have done everything they can to make Morganza a reality.
There are, however, two problems afflicting this massive, ongoing project: an onslaught of bureaucratic delay and a lack of federal money. It has gotten as far as it has because of local and state taxpayers. But to become the structure that’s planned, it will need a larger stream of money that likely can come only from the federal government.
To that end, the Terrebonne Levee Board has sought the federal government’s help on this vital effort.
“After 25 years since the Morganza project began and four years since federal authorization, we are urging the federal government to come to the table and designate this project as a New Start, which will finally provide for some federal funding towards this critical project,” said Tony Alford, levee board president.
It remains to be seen whether this will result in any improved responsiveness from the federal level, but it never hurts to ask.
Last week’s action does make federal intervention possible, so it is a step forward in itself. Morganza has seen commitment and follow-through here and in Baton Rouge.
It is past time for that commitment and follow-through to extend to Washington, D.C.
This is more than a feel-good measure or a pork project for the folks back home. This will be a critical part of the flood protection plan for south Louisiana. It is not an exaggeration to say that lives and homes are at risk even as such an impressive amount of work has been done to advance Morganza.
We have to keep sending the message that we need and deserve help. With any luck, the message will one day be heard and spark the decisive action necessary to achieve this noble goal.
Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.