How will south Louisiana spend $1.2B flood-fighting credit? Levees, diversions, dredging?

Now that the Comite River Diversion Canal has received the $343 million needed from the federal government to begin construction, all eyes are on a $1.2 billion pot that will pay for the next generation of south Louisiana flood control.

Several projects are in the works, and officials are laying the groundwork to pitch others. The thought of pumping Bayou Manchac is falling out of favor and the Darlington Reservoir is still a dream, but there are plans like knocking out a ridge under La. 22 in Ascension Parish and dredging at least part of the lower Amite River in Livingston Parish — though it remains to be seen whether dredging larger stretches is in the cards.

East Baton Rouge leaders feel a bit hamstrung. Federal agencies recommend communities prepare a storm water master plan, which the parish doesn't have. Officials decided to commission a report but the parish needs some of the federal money to pay for it. So far, the Federal Emergency Management Agency hasn't given an answer, city-parish Transportation and Drainage Director Fred Raiford said Friday.

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