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Long-delayed Comite River Diversion project getting federal funding, should be completed in next few years

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BATON ROUGE - After decades of delays, one of the state's biggest flood prevention projects is finally getting the funding it needs.

On Thursday, Congressman Garret Graves announced the state would be getting $1.4 billion in federal funding for priority flood and hurricane protection projects in south Louisiana, including the Comite River Diversion Canal.

Graves says the new federal funding provides well over half-a-billion dollars to complete the Comite River Diversion Canal and major flood control projects in East Baton Rouge Parish.

“This is not a drill. This is not merely a hope and a prayer. The logjam has been completely broken, and we are getting the best flood protection we’ve ever had,” Graves said in a release Thursday.

The congressman added that the project should be completed in the next 3 to 4 years.

The project, originally intended to be funded by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has been delayed since it was first approved in 1992. Following the 2016 floods, Gov. Edwards and members of the Louisiana legislature have searched for ways to move forward with the project.

Another $30 million is going toward Grand Isle protection and berm reconstruction, as well as coastal restoration and flood protection along sites like the Amite River and Lake Pontchartrain.

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