I’ve been holding onto a news story that I know will be of interest to our good friend Editilla over at the Ladder that I hope will set the tone for some thoughtful discussion on the wisdom of filling in marshes and then building levees to protect the resulting development. We’ve discussed flood mitigation in depth here on Slabbed and we’re fans of it. What we’re not fans of is filling in wetlands and building levees and the reason is simple, the water has to go someplace and in this case it is the non-marshy, once high and dry areas of the Mississippi Gulf Coast that take the hit.
Predictably the Army Corps of Engineers mislead local officials, this time assuring local leaders such as Hancock County Board of Supervisor president Rocky Pullman the levee construction related to Lake Pontchartrain that is contained in the Louisiana Coastal Restoration Plan would not impact the Mississippi coast when their own study painted a much different picture. Let’s visit with a recent AP story run in the Clarion Ledger to get the details:
Hancock County officials have told the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers that a new levee system planned to protect eastern Louisiana from future hurricanes will likely increase flooding in parts of coastal Mississippi.
The Hancock County board of supervisors met with Corps officials last week to talk about the corps’ Louisiana Coastal Restoration Plan, which includes two large floodgates, or weirs, and a line of levees stretching from New Orleans East up the Pearl River…….
Local officials had been assured in March (by USACE) that none of the current construction would adversely affect South Mississippi.
Pullman told the newspaper the plan the corps now proposes would mean that once water gets trapped in the levee system, “it is going to go to the path of least resistance, which is us, only 19 miles away.”
And as detailed Louisiana Coastal Restoration Plan the Army Corps acknowledges land that was once high and dry in Mississippi will pay the price for allowing unwise risky development in the Louisiana marshes:
“It was determined that the LACRP ‘weir’ alignment and high/level Slidell levee alignment would impact Hancock County through increased flooding.” Continue reading “Flood Mitigation and Risk: For every benefit there is a cost. Free lunches are only available in Oz”