For 26,000 Louisiana homes, businesses, levees won’t be enough

Featured in nola.com

By Sara Sneath, Environment Reporter

Most of the $50 billion in Louisiana’s 50-year coastal master plan is earmarked for erecting levees, restoring disappearing marsh and building new wetlands. For some 26,000 homes and businesses across the coast, however, the projects in the master plan will not be enough to protect them.

In these areas, Louisiana expects to offer a fraction of the master plan money to elevate homes and “floodproof” businesses in 16 parishes– or to buy the properties outright. It’s a voluntary program, and the specific properties have not yet been identified.

In shaping its program, the state is taking advantage of $40 million that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has set aside for Louisiana’s Strategic Adaptations for Future Environments, or LA SAFE. The federal effort aims to help the state kick-start its program for residents and businesses in low-lying areas of six parishes¬†most affected by flooding during Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

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