U.S. Army Corps study shows dredging Vermilion would cost $150 million, save only 175 homes

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Rep. Clay Higgins (right) and Mark Wingate (left), of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, said Thursday that dredging the Vermilion River would cost $150 million but would only save a few hundred homes in a 2016-style flood event. (Photo: Andrew Capps)

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)- U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins said Thursday a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that a full dredge of the Vermilion River would cost $150 million and only save about 175 homes in Lafayette Parish.

Higgins held a press conference in Lafayette alongside Mark Wingate, deputy district engineer for Programs and Project Management for the Corps’ New Orleans division, to announce the findings of the long-awaited study.

Wingate said the Corps studied the effects of dredging the river from its headwaters at Bayou Fusilier in St. Landry Parish to its outlet at Vermilion Bay, based on a simulation of the August 2016 flood that saw 31 inches of rain fall in 36 hours.

Their study found that only a few hundred homes in Lafayette Parish and Vermilion Parish would have been spared from flooding in 2016 by doing a full navigational dredge of the river.

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