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Acadiana Lifestyle

From The Publisher: May 2016

05/06/2016 08:13AM ● By Aimee Cormier

Learning A Lesson From Flooding In Houston

By Art Suberbielle

Weather forecasters are calling the terrible flooding in Houston a once in 500 year event. So does that mean it won’t re-occur for 500 more years? There’s no guarantee.

But this should cause all of us to take note of the horrible impact of a severe flood, whether it be caused by rain or tidal wave from a hurricane. Remember what happened with Rita?  Iberia and Vermilion parishes were inundated with flood waters. Countless homes suffered substantial damage from the flooding caused by the hurricane. And, if you recall, this was termed a “100 year event.” What can be done to prevent the reoccurrence of such a tragedy?

Enter the Iberia Parish Levee, Hurricane, and Conservation District. Created by house Bill No. 713 in 2010, the Levee District’s purpose is to develop flood protection systems for Iberia Parish (excluding the Atchafalaya Basin District), construct and maintain those protection systems, and enforce rules and regulations regarding the protection systems. 

In 2012, the group developed a draft master plan. The plan identified the levee system specifications, provided preliminary engineering, cost estimates, and other pertinent information. It was not intended to be the final document. The Draft Plan was a starting point for serious discussions between stakeholders (residents, businesses, etc.), the Levee District, and others to work out a parish-wide protection system. 

Several months ago, the district hired Ray Fremin, Jr. to serve as Executive Director. On April 7, a Master Plan Enhancements Draft was released that updates the original draft plan from 2012. The district is seeking input from all interested parties in the community. You can obtain a copy via email by requesting one at this address: This effort can not only help prevent the devastation that another major hit from a hurricane would have on our parish, but it also offers the opportunity to see significant rate reductions in homeowners’ and flood insurance. Please take time to study this plan and provide input. 

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