Livingston Parish plans big projects with $68M flood mitigation grant

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Livingston Parish is slated to receive $68 million for projects to mitigate future storm or flood damage, but it could be more than a year before the parish even gets the money.

"Our goal is to move the water from north of the parish through the south, not to the south, but through the south, through the southern part of the parish without adversely affecting anyone," said Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks.

Ricks says it's the first time ever the parish will get $68 million per the Hazard Mitigation Grand Program. He says the money will go to projects the parish needs, such as drainage to improve moving water through the parish, specifically at I-12.

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"We'll look into possibly putting culverts underneath, increasing the size of culverts, putting in what they call tubes, and talk with the state to maybe partner with them," said Ricks.

That includes looking into projects which would allow water to flow through the concrete barrier wall on I-12 that acted like a dam during the August 2016 flooding. Ricks says they also plan to meet with the mayors in the parish to figure out what projects they need completed, such as cleaning out ditches and culverts.

Some of the money will also go to help raise homes that have repeatedly flooded, but the homeowners have to put their names on a list and be willing to pay 25 percent of the cost. All of the plans and more will be submitted through GOHSEP to FEMA. Once approved, the parish will get money for the projects, but the entire process could take 12 to 18 months.

"With this kind of money, you have enough money that you can look across the parish to make some big changes, things you've thought about over the years, but never actually had the dollars to do," said Ricks.

If you want to consider raising your home, contact the Livingston Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Also, anyone whose home flooded needs to fill out the Restore Louisiana survey to even be considered to receive any funds.

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