This was a regular board meeting by the Acadiana Planning Commission, which brought local and state agencies together. The real focus was that flood waters do not know political boundaries.
“There is benefit to working together, there is wisdom to working together and there are also practical outcomes related to that,” said Casey Tingle, with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Working together, regardless of party affiliation, was one of the main focuses of Tuesday’s Acadiana Planning Commission Board Meeting where the Army Corps of Engineers, GOHSEP, Acadiana and state leaders who offered their full support for regional watershed efforts.
“We understand that because water know no political boundaries, the flooding that happens in one parish will ultimately flow into other parishes,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.
This was a follow up to a regional watershed meeting held last August where Acadiana received $25 million in hazard mitigation program funding from the governor’s office.
The applications are still being reviewed, but nine out of 23 have Acadiana Planning Commission Board approved funding, with 14 remaining unfunded at this time.
“We now have a model that we can that we can take to the rest of the state,” Tingle said. “There are other ways to go about this, there are ways to go about this from a regional perspective.”
Today, Gov. Edwards also signed an executive order to develop and implement a statewide floodlplain management program to mitigate future risks associated with frequent flooding and severe weather events.
Former St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier says this is a step in the right direction.
“He basically said that we’re going to grab all out state agencies, and we’re going to recognize what they did in Acadiana,” Cormier said. “They worked together at eight parishes, so we’re going to get our agencies that that should be work on the watershed and water management. We’re going to make sure that we are at least communicating.”
Again, the meeting at all about resiliency as leader know that Louisiana is prone to flooding. But if they can work together on the state and local level, they can hopefully make Louisiana stronger in the future.