CORMIER ADMINISTRATION SUCCESSFULLY TESTS FLOODGATES, DESPITE COUNCIL’S 90% CUT IN MANPOWER
Belle Chasse, La – Plaquemines Parish Government (“PPG”) heavy equipment crews have successfully completed testing of all floodgates and flood control structures leading up to the Atlantic hurricane season. PPG crews, under the leadership of Director Stanley Wallace, exercised the Oakville Floodgate, the flood control structure at the Hero Canal Pump Station, the Highway 39 floodgate, and the floodgate located at the Belle Chasse Tunnel.
“I would like to thank our crews who worked late hours testing the Belle Chasse Tunnel floodgates in conjunction with the LA-DOTD. Also, I want to thank the US Army Corps of Engineers and Couvillion Construction for their assistance with the Hero Canal Pump Station stop log exercise. It takes a multi-agency effort to prepare for hurricane season,” said Director of Operations Stanley Wallace.
According to NOAA, the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to be more active than years past, with a predicted number of 11 to 17 named storms and five to nine hurricanes. Plaquemines Parish’s location makes it the first part of the state to feel the effect of a tropical cyclone.
The 2017 Budget of the Plaquemines Parish Council (“PPC”) slashed approximately 90% (48 men) of the PPG Heavy Equipment Manpower, purportedly due to cash shortages. Even given these massive cuts, PPG crews under Director Stanley Wallace are preparing to face the upcoming season. Moreover, PPG has 28 Pump Stations throughout Plaquemines Parish, and after retirements, will be left with approximately 10 pump operators for the hurricane season. Currently, the PPC has a hiring freeze imposed upon the PPG.
“It is the responsibility of the Plaquemines Parish Council to provide the resources necessary to protect the people of Plaquemines. My Administration has been requesting that the PPC authorize me to rehire Heavy Equipment Operators and Pump Operators in order to be prepared for hurricane season. Nevertheless, I am thankful for the hard work of Director Stanley Wallace and our parish employees, who despite being short of manpower, are working late into the evening to ensure our community is safe,” said President Cormier.
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