Governor, John Bel Edwards spoke to a crowd of officials from parishes across Louisiana and others in attendance at the Watershed Summit held at the Lite Centre in Lafayette Thursday. He discussed issues about flooding in Louisiana and the effects on its residents and businesses. Edwards spoke about the Acadiana Planning Commission and its mission to bring parishes together to tackle drainage and waterway issues in the State. By working together in a collaborative effort, one parish will not due harm to another in its efforts. The Governor was proud to announce that over $35,000,000 will be coming to the parishes included in the Acadiana Planning Commission due to federal funds received due to Hurricane Gustav. He explained that some of the parishes would not have received any of the funds because they were not declared a disaster area at that time; however, he explained that all eight parishes will be able to share the money because they have formed as one body and will be working together.
KVPI News Director, Stephanie Ware, spoke with Evangeline Parish Police Jury President, Ryan Ardoin about the Summit. He, along with fellow Police Juror, Eric Soileau and Secretary/Treasurer Donald Bergeron attended the Summit that began at 1:30 in the afternoon and did not wrap up until 8:30 p.m. Ardoin said all eight parishes will share the money for “capital outlay and shovel on the ground projects.” The Commission will determine what the “priorities” are.
Ardoin said there will be more money to come because the Federal government is recognizing just how badly Louisiana has been impacted from rain and flooding. He said he learned from the Summit that there was $636,000,000 a day impact to the oil and gas industry alone due to flooding. He said in Evangeline Parish some priorities will be tackling undersized bridges and culverts. He also said that new technology is being looked at like gauges for our bigger waterways. Ardoin stated: “Between Chester Granger, Public Works Director, myself, Engineer, Ronnie Landreneau and Donald Bergeron, we will need to sit down and discuss all of the priorities. It takes a joint effort, not only here locally but on this multi-parish level.”