June 23, 2016
The progress on the Morganza levee system has been slow and halting, when progress has been made at all. But the project recently passed a significant milestone when crews closed a gap in the structure, which now boasts 31 continuous miles of flood protection.
“Now that gap is closed off, you have some connect-ability and flood protection from Falgout Canal Road all the way to Pointe-aux-Chenes,” said Terrebonne Levee District Director Reggie Dupre.
The entire project remains far from finished.
Hindered by federal bureaucracy and delay, Morganza languished for years until local levee officials and taxpayers stepped forward to design, construct and pay for a smaller version of what locals hope will one day be a tremendous addition to local storm protection.
Even in its scaled-down version, it will be a good improvement for local residents and businesses, representing the largest levee project in our region.
It remains to be seen, though, whether the federal government will ever step up and offer the help our region needs and deserves to get the full version built.
Until then, the best we can do is watch and cheer the progress being made by the hard work and dedication of our local people.
One big achievement came when that final gap was closed on June 12.
Actually, crews just finished laying the foundation for it, but it will soon be a 13-foot levee that protects the people and businesses behind it from storm surge in the event of strong weather.
That in itself is a vast improvement over where we were just a few short years ago.
There is much more to do, of course. The entire system will be much larger than it is now. And if the full-scale version of the project is ever built, it will be much higher than the system that is currently in the works.
Still, the fact that we have come so far is a testament to the refusal of our people to take no for an answer.
We didn’t have a choice over the federal government’s inaction and delay, but we did have a choice as to how we would react.
Fortunately, we chose action. It hasn’t been cheap or easy. Each mile of levee represents real accomplishment. And each milestone, such as the one passed June 12, deserves to be celebrated and admired.
Dupre and the rest of the people at the Levee District can’t celebrate for long. They have much more work to do. But each time we see another milestone, we are reassured that the requisite work is being done.
Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.