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Construction ramps up on massive Comite Diversion

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EAST BATON ROUGE - Work on a massive flood control project has re-started after stalling in the 1980s. Some say it could have prevented the flooding in 2016.

The $400M Comite River Diversion Canal Project is designed to divert water from the Comite and Amite Rivers, the waters that triggered the worst flooding ever in Capital Region.

"This is going to be a huge difference-maker," Congressman Garret Graves said.

Congressman Graves says work on the diversion re-started at the end of the summer. The huge canal will channel potential floodwaters from the rivers and dump them into the Mississippi River north of Baton Rouge.

"It's going to provide flood relief in East Baton Rouge Parish, Ascension Parish and Livingston Parish," Graves said.

Graves began securing the funding when he was first elected in 2015, then got more aggressive about finding more federal dollars for the diversion canal after the 2016 flood.

"Just banging on the table about the urgency of this project about how we couldn't put people through what they went through in 2016 again," Graves said.

If construction goes as planned, the diversion canal will be completed by the end of next year.

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