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Support grows to stall levee construction

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Posted: Apr 1, 2014 8:56 PM by Ryan Naquin
Updated: Apr 2, 2014 12:37 AM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: Parish, stall levee construction, study the impact, proposed levee system, Livingston Parish, president, Layton Ricks, Ascension, St. James, St. John Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Ryan Naquin, Greg Varnado

LIVINGSTON - Neighboring parishes are teaming up to study the impact of a proposed levee system before construction can begin.

"Let's really look at the whole region," Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks said.

Ricks and the Livingston Parish Council are urging leaders of a proposed levee system around Ascension, St. James and St. John Parish to conduct a study on how the project would affect surrounding areas.

Now, Tangipahoa Parish leaders are joining in the fight to delay construction.

"If you do not complete the study, it could reap consequences that we don't foresee," Tangipahoa Council Chair Greg Varnado said. "It's a consolidated effort on several people and parishes' part to approach the powers that be to take action on this before you create a problem you can't fix."

Leaders in both Tangipahoa and Livingston believe the levees could cause drainage issues for their parishes and create severe flooding.

"As a good neighbor, I should want to know how it's going to affect this guy and that guy and that guy," Ricks said.

Neither parish has a timetable for when a study would begin or who will perform it.

Last November, the Army Corp of Engineers announced plans to build levee protection around St. John and populated portions of St. James along the Hope Canal.

The levee system is estimated to cost about $881 million.

The Pontchartrain Levee District board promised to pay $11 million for a levee around Ascension Parish.

The levee around St. James and St. John will go to Congress for approval in June.

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