First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Lafourche and the surrounding parishes as we all struggle to recover from the impacts of Hurricane Ida. I'd like to provide an update on our operational status and the condition of our flood protection systems.
Our Flood Protection Levees
My estimates are that 96% of the levees within the North Lafourche Levee District area withstood and were not overtopped by the storm surges resulting from Hurricane Ida. I realize, however, that this is little consolation to the good people who live within the 4% of those levees that were overwhelmed by Ida’s Storm Surge.
We had homes that took on water in the Kraemer community within the Zeller / Larousse Forced Drainage Area and the Bayou Bouef School Forced Drainage Area. We also had homes inundated in the Larose Community on the East side of Bayou Lafourche in the T-Boise Pump Forced Drainage Area. Anything we can do to continue to help the folks in those communities would be much appreciated. To be clear, however, contrary to rumors circulating, there were no breaches or failures to the levees themselves anywhere within the District.
In the areas that were flooded, this record-breaking storm caused localized storm surges that were anywhere from one to two feet or more above the current level of protection in those areas. So, the water came in everywhere all at once. In Kraemer, water rushed in over the levees and over Bayou road. In Larose, the water came in over the levees in some places, over the protection at North American Shipyard, over the sheet pile wall along Industrial Blvd and over Industrial Blvd. from the GIWW and over the road adjacent to the Bayou. Simply everywhere and all at once.
Folks on the ground during the event indicated that the water came up very rapidly. In fact, we recorded a 6’ change in water elevation at the T-Bois Pump reservoir in 30 minutes. We have captured high water mark elevations that show that is what happened. There were no breaches or failures other than the protection not being high enough for this extraordinary storm.
Our office in Raceland suffered severe roof damage and water inundation. We have been working to make it watertight and cleared of all water and water damage. We thank the Lafourche Parish Government who have allowed us to co-locate at their EOC in Mathews immediately after the storm so that we could provide emergency response and coordinate the de-watering of the flooded areas. We are hoping to be “operational” by Monday or Tuesday of next week at our office in Raceland. We ask for your continued patience as we work to return our operations to a more normal status.