Hurricane Isaac caused an unusual amount of flooding after slow crawling through southeast Louisiana for two and a half days. While the $14.5B dollar levee system built by the US Army Corps of Engineers to protect New Orleans worked as designed, many of the parishes around the New Orleans metropolitan area saw worse flooding than they did during Hurricane Katrina.
Since 2005, state officials have lobbied the federal government for a comprehensive plan to provide flood and hurricane protection, wetland restoration, and the construction of an all-inclusive levee system to protect low lying areas outside of the New Orleans.
Christopher Areas, a resident Jean Lafitte in Jefferson Parish, explains how he breached a rock levee near his home to allow flood waters to flow back into Barataria Bayou after Hurricane Isaac. “We had a foot of water in our house for two days, ” said Areas.
Adding insult to injury, Chris’ wife, Katie had over two feet of water inundate the seafood restaurant t she’s owned for over 30 years. “I just paid off the SBA loan I got to renovate my restaurant after Hurricane Katrina. I’m not sure that I’m going to rebuild this time. I’m tired,” said Mrs. Areas.
Like many Gulf Coast residents, Area believes the storm surge from Isaac bounced off the levees and floodgates built to protect New Orleans, while sacrificing the surrounding communities. “The water had to go somewhere and it came here,” he said.