Louisiana Mayor Says Feds Flood Policy Destroyed His Small Town
The mayor of a small town in south Louisiana insists that a levee system constructed by the federal government after Hurricane Katrina is responsible for the destruction of his tiny community.
Tim Kerner, the mayor of Jean Lafitte, Louisiana says system was built to protect New Orleans during severe weather. But many small towns south of the Crescent City, including Jean Lafitte, were not included in the government's plan, and Kerner says that exclusion has left his and other towns overly vulnerable to flooding.
And the story that Kerner tells about Jean Lafitte's being outside the federal levee protection borders on the unbelievable. In a recent Fox News report, the Mayor says, "We lost inside the levee protection by inches."
The post-Katrina levees, referred to officially as the Hurricane and Storm Damage Risk Reduction System is a series of dams, floodwalls, pump stations that circle New Orleans.
During Hurricane Ida, the pump was turned on to reduce the risk of storm surge.
And according to Fox, Kerner says, in protecting Louisiana's largest city, "the pumps dumped the equivalent of an Olympic-sized swimming pool into Jean Lafitte every four seconds."
Kerner says that, as a result, all of the towns schools, municipal buildings and over a hundred homes - half in the town - were destroyed. And Kerner wants the federal government, specifically the Army Corps of Engineers, to take responsibility for Jean Lafitte's devastation.
Kerner said he has contacted Louisiana’s U.S. Congressional delegation, specifically Rep. Steve Scalise, asking for federal levee protection and money from the federal infrastructure package to help rebuild.
Spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers says they will evaluate what happened in Jean Lafitte and other small towns outside the levees protection.