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PRESS RELEASE

Parish Officials Outline Areas of Concern & Plans to Deal with Rising Water

LAFOURCHE PARISH (May 16, 2011) - In a joint press release, officials from Lafourche Parish Government and the Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office identified areas of concern around Lafourche Parish while reassuring residents about the ongoing efforts to protect those very areas from the threat of backwater flooding due to the opening of the Morganza Spillway.

"The good news for Lafourche Parish residents is that the projected flood threat has been lessened slightly now that the Corps of Engineers is projecting that they will only need to open 20% of Morganza as opposed to the initial projection of 50%," said Parish President Charlotte Randolph.

Chris Boudreaux, Lafourche Parish Government's Director of Emergency Preparedness, outlined a few areas Parish officials are keeping a close eye on as flood waters make their way down through the Atchafalaya Basin.

"While we are going to be concerned with the entire western portion of Lafourche within the flood risk zone, we have identified a few areas we will watch closely," said Boudreaux. "The Intracoastal Canal (Gulf Intracoastal Waterway) will see elevated water levels, and we are going to closely watch as those levels rise, especially around the shipyards where we have had problems before. North of the Intracoastal, from Larose to Lockport, we are working with the Corps of Engineers to have tiger dams placed in specific areas. Also, Northwestern Lafourche Parish is certainly another area simply due to its proximity to Terrebonne Parish."
Boudreaux indicated that sand bags are NOT YET being distributed to ensure they are available where they are most needed, if necessary. Boudreaux and President Randolph also thanked Jefferson Parish for the donation of additional tiger dams, which can be quickly deployed in the event they are needed.

Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre says his office will respond swiftly to any flooding threat. He assures residents they will have time to evacuate if flood waters threaten.

"In the event we have to call for an evacuation for a specific community, our deputies will go door to door to ensure everyone gets the message," said Sheriff Webre. "If and when we call an evacuation, residents will still have plenty of time to act, but you should make your plans now. We encourage all families in the threatened areas to have a plan, stay informed and be ready to take action if necessary."

Residents can stay informed by signing up for alerts at http://www.lafourchegov.org.


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