Iberia Parish leaders proposing over $500 million levee project

IBERIA PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Iberia Parish leaders are working to persuade voters to approve a $523 million levee project for the parish.

It’s designed to protect the parish from the potential $4.5 billion in economic damage that could result from a direct hit by a hurricane.

“When water comes here, it doesn’t stop at the port, it doesn’t stop at Highway 90. If it stopped at Highway 90, we wouldn’t be flooding in Jeanerette, we wouldn’t be flooding in Loreauville, we wouldn’t be flooding on the west end of the parish,” said M. Larry Richard, Iberia Parish President.

He’s joining with the Acadiana Flood Protection Coalition to urge voters to approve the project, which would span 19.2 miles.

“The Iberia Parish levee is needed to protect lives, homes, and businesses in Iberia Parish,” said Julie Rosenzweig, President of the Acadiana Flood Protection Coalition.

The massive new levee is part of a statewide flood protection plan from the Louisiana state government’s Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority.

The levee would run from the Vermilion-Iberia Parish boundary line to the St. Mary Parish line.

“The economic impact to Iberia Parish from a direct hit, from a major storm, is about $4.5 million, so this is just a fraction of that potential impact,” said Rosenzweig.

“We need to come up with some type of way to protect our coast, and I think by doing this levee is the correct thing to do for the people of Iberia Parish, not only the businesses in Iberia Parish but for the people of Iberia Parish. Water [has] no boundaries, it goes wherever the lowest point is,” said Richard.

The project would cost taxpayers a little over $60 a year per household for 15 years.

The plan will be voted for on the November 18 ballot.

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