Levee district chief tells of Hurricane Isaac response


MORGAN CITY, La. — St. Mary Levee District closed two structures as Hurricane Isaac approached, said Hilary Thibodeaux, district executive director, at Thursday’s meeting

“We started the processes of closing two structures with sheet pile, the Yellow Bayou project and the Franklin Canal project as well,” he said. “We started working Aug. 27, and we actually finished that night.”

Thibodeaux described the district’s cooperation with the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

“At the same time, working closely with OEP director Duval Arthur, we put in a request for pumps, because we knew that once we closed these structures, we’d need to manage rain water behind the structures,” he said.

Through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness process, he put in a request for pumps at these two locations, he said.

“We were fortunate to find a contractor, Ladd Services,” he said. “We put two pumps at the Franklin Canal and three pumps at the Yellow Bayou project.”

Thibodeaux said that the costs for the hurricane preparation “may be around $70,000” and that some reimbursement may be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We did not have any damage on any of the system,” he said. “It was one of those odd storms. We were on the good side of it.”

In other business, the board voted to approve a $16,000 payment to Shaw Environmental Group for its work on getting FEMA reimbursement money for issues stemming from Hurricane Isaac. Shaw had already been working on the same thing from the Morganza Spillway flood in the spring of 2011.

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