LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. (AP) Existing levees will be raised in two northeast Louisiana parishes starting in the next few weeks, to provide better protection from the Mississippi River.
The levees held during the flooding of 2011, but have settled gradually since being built in 1973, The News-Star of Monroe reported.
“This will make the system even stronger,” said Reynold Minsky, president of the 5th Louisiana Levee District board. “It will bring all of East Carroll and most of Concordia to 500-year flood protection.”
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the levees will be raised about 1.5 ft. (.4 m) at their three lowest spots. Each section is about 1,000 ft. (305 m) long.
One spot is 3 mi. south of Transylvania and another 7 mi. south of the town. The third is about 15 mi. south of Vidalia.
Work should be finished by November, said Kavanaugh Breazeale, spokesman of the Corps of Engineers’ Vicksburg, Miss., District.
The corps awarded the $464,000 contract to Bickerstaff Brothers Inc., of Batesville, Miss., which furnishes all plant, labor, materials and equipment for the construction.
Minsky said of the sections to be raised: “They haven’t created any problems yet, but we badly needed these projects to secure the system for the future. They’re all part of the mainline levee.”
Minsky said two larger projects, raising about 2 mi. of the levee in Madison Parish and 60 to 70 mi. in Tensas and upper Concordia parishes, also are planned.
“I expect the corps to advertise for bids on the Madison project as early as this month,” Minsky said. “Then the focus will turn toward Tensas Parish.”
The levee is about 45 ft. (13.7 m) tall in East Carroll Parish, but drops to as low as 35 to 38 ft. (10.7 to 11.5 m) in Tensas, Minsky said.
“Once we raise Madison and Tensas, the entire system will be at 500-year flood protection,” Minsky said.