Gulf of Mexico
US Cong. Garret Graves / Photo by Keith Magill

LA - 'Absolutely historic': Morganza hurricane-protection system to receive $500M allocation

A levee system that protects about 200,000 residents in Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes from Gulf of Mexico storms will receive $500 million as the result of a measure Congress passed in September.

U.S. Sen. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, said he and other Louisiana lawmakers included the money in a measure attached to a spending bill Congress approved Sept. 30 that averted a federal government shutdown.

The supplemental spending bill also includes about $1 billion in federal aid to help with recovery after Hurricane Ida, which devastated southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29.

"This really is monumental," Graves said during a speech Thursday to the Houma and Houma-Terrebonne Rotary Clubs.

Earlier this week: Gov. John Bel Edwards helps mark two local storm-protection milestones

Local and state officials have lobbied for federal money since planning for the Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane-protection system began in 1992.

U.S. Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, speaks with members of the Houma and Houma-Terrebonne Rotary Clubs during a luncheon Thursday at the Main Affair banquet hall in Houma.

Louisiana officials helped break the logjam in January in winning so-called "new start' designation from the Office of Management and Budget. The long-awaited action cleared the way for the federal government to spend money on the system's construction.

Since then, Louisiana lawmakers have steered $31.5 million to the Army Corps of Engineers for construction work on Morganza, Graves said.

But the $500 million is by far the largest federal allocation, nearly matching the roughly $600 million in state and local tax money spent to build the levee system so far.

"After 30 years: nothing. And this year, we're just being able to get some of these wins in here," Graves said.

Morganza's 98 miles of levees, locks and floodgates helped prevent Category 4 Ida from flooding the area, he noted.

"So here's the takeaway: We're going to be able to to tell those people that are holding that insurance check or the recovery check or the government it's OK to build here, it's safe to stay in Terrebonne Parish," Graves said. "We're going to have the best protection we've ever had."

"After 30 years: nothing. And this year, we're just being able to get some of these wins in here," Graves said.

Morganza's 98 miles of levees, locks and floodgates helped prevent Category 4 Ida from flooding the area, he noted.

"So here's the takeaway: We're going to be able to to tell those people that are holding that insurance check or the recovery check or the government it's OK to build here, it's safe to stay in Terrebonne Parish," Graves said. "We're going to have the best protection we've ever had."

"After 30 years: nothing. And this year, we're just being able to get some of these wins in here," Graves said.

Morganza's 98 miles of levees, locks and floodgates helped prevent Category 4 Ida from flooding the area, he noted.

"After 30 years: nothing. And this year, we're just being able to get some of these wins in here," Graves said.

Morganza's 98 miles of levees, locks and floodgates helped prevent Category 4 Ida from flooding the area, he noted.

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