Levee districts join to coordinate flood relief efforts
After record-breaking flooding in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas, the Southeast Louisiana Flood Protection Authority-East (SLFPA-E) and its levee districts provided and transported sandbags and supplies to areas in St. John the Baptist and St. James Parish.
Robert Turner, Flood Authority-East Regional Director, coordinated with Executive Director Monica Salins of the Pontchartrain Levee District to provide areas suffering from backwater flooding with support.
Turner said the SLFPA-E and its levee districts sent about 20,000 filled sandbags and about 25,000 empty sandbags to affected areas in St. John the Baptist Parish and St. James Parish on August 18.
“That was really quite a disaster those people were going through,” Turner said.
He described how the mounds of debris and furniture outside houses, especially in Denam Springs, looked as bad as places did after Hurricane Katrina hit. Turner recalled how the Pontchartrain Levee District supported some of the Flood Authority-East’s levee districts following Katrina.
“Levee Districts are kind of a tight-knit community of folks, and we have a lot of history of trying to help each other.”
Salins has been Executive Director of the Pontchartrain Levee District for 13 years. She said although levee districts have different jurisdictions and topography, she doesn’t hesitate to contact another district for help.
“We all work extremely well together in times of emergency,” Salins said.
Salins will be attending the next public SLFPA-E Board of Commissioners meeting hosted by the Orleans Levee District on Sept. 15. The meeting will take place at 11 a.m. in Meeting Room 221 inside the Franklin Avenue Administrative Complex, located on 6920 Franklin Avenue.
Salins expressed that she would like to go and thank the Orleans Levee District and Turner in person.
“He’s one of my oldest and dearest mentors.”