Iberville ready to move ahead on anti-flood work

Staff Report

The Iberville Parish Council was set to give final approval for Parish President J. Mitchell Ourso to move forward on the flood mitigation pact with East Baton Rouge Parish to ease flooding issues along Bayou Manchac.

Numerous homes along Bayou Manchac took in water during the heavy rainfall in May.

Ourso said on Friday that he had not yet received the signed copy from Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, but the two parishes are ready to get the wheels turning on Bayou Manchac cleanup.

“I know the Metro Council gave her the authority to sign the mutual agreement, and the Parish council will give authority Tuesday, and then it’s just a matter of the minds within from Iberville and East Baton Rouge to talk about the de-snagging of Manchac along La. 30 at Iberville at the East Baton Rouge about the funding of it,” Ourso said. “I’m sure the East Baton Rouge paperwork is signed, but I haven’t received it yet.”

Ourso had been at the forefront of the struggles throughout the area when the storms, which damaged hundreds of homes in the area, hit in mid-May.

Funding resources are available through the federal government and the National Resource Conservation Service, but officials from the two parishes have not yet had the initial meeting on which one they will pursue, Ourso said.

He said he hopes the two parishes can get the wheels turning soon.

“The holidays are right around the corner, so hopefully we’ll have a kickoff meeting soon to discuss the scope of work and what it entails and where will the funding come to do this,” Ourso said.

The portion of Bayou Manchac along the westernmost end is not nearly as big of problem as the portion of Manchac as the portion that comes out of Alligator Bayou and veers east before Ascension Parish and the Amite River, Ourso said.

East Baton Rouge brokered a similar agreement with Ascension Parish for Bayou Manchac. The EBR portion of the pact with Ascension has a $200,000 cap.

Earlier this month, U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (R-District 6) convened Broome, Ourso, State Senator Eddie Lambert, State Representative Tony Bacala, AsccAscension Parish Councilman Corey Orgeron and Prairieville homeowner associations to discuss the ongoing clearing and snagging and future plans.

Graves, who has had an active role in flood control efforts throughout the reason, said the move is an important step forward to ease flooding.