Gov. John Bel Edwards, along with local and state officials, today cut the ribbon on the Falgout Canal “Jimmy Dagate” floodgate in Terrebonne Parish, a $36.5 million project completing another link in the Morganza to the Gulf levee system. The steel 18-foot high barge-type swing gate and its adjoining floodwalls will tie in to earthen levees on either side of the canal, closing a gap that put homes and businesses in the Dularge area at severe risk.
“This is the tenth floodgate constructed along the Morganza to the Gulf levee alignment in Terrebonne Parish,” said Gov. Edwards, “And seven of them are the result of an incredibly-productive partnership between Terrebonne Parish, the Terrebonne Levee and Conservation District, and the state Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, CPRA. Without any federal assistance, this partnership is acting on its own and getting results that are not only changing the landscape, but also saving lives and property.”
Although federally authorized, the Morganza to the Gulf levee system has never received any federal funding for construction. Instead, Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes have used local tax money in combination with funding from the State of Louisiana.
“The commitment to this critically important levee system by Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes has been an amazing $234 million,” said Edwards. “The State of Louisiana has also contributed $214 million, and we’re committing $18.5 million more to build the next needed floodgate at Grand Bayou to further the protection of Terrebonne and Lafourche Parishes."
Terrebonne Levee & Conservation District Executive Director Reggie Dupre gave special thanks to Gov. Edwards and CPRA for making it possible to complete this needed component of the system.
“This project is significant in that it is the last major floodgate to be built on the southern reaches of Morganza to the Gulf, and the last three have all been completed since Gov. Edwards took office,” said Dupre. “The State and CPRA have been great partners.”
"This floodgate is named after Jimmy Dagate, a great man who worked with us for years and was instrumental in the protection of Terrebonne Parish,” said Parish President Gordy Dove. “So this floodgate is a fitting tribute to Jimmy, as it completes the southern portion of the Morganza Levee System from Point aux Chene to Falgout Canal in Dularge.”
The gate is 189 feet long and 40 feet wide. When swung into the closed position across the waterway, it provides protection against 18 feet of storm surge. Strongly-braced steel sheet piles form the floodwalls connecting into the earthen levees that are being constructed on the north and south sides of the waterway. When the gate is closed and water on the protected side is higher than on the outside, four pipes six feet in diameter with flap valves will let the water flow out but not in.
“The ceremony today is what is possible when you have a governor who has a productive relationship with Terrebonne the legislative delegation, and when CPRA has a strong partnership with local levee districts,” said CPRA Chairman Chip Kline. “The people who live and work in Terrebonne Parish continue to invest local dollars to help get these critically important projects on the ground, and that makes Terrebonne the prime example for how coastal parishes should be approaching hurricane protection and coastal restoration.”
“The completion of the Falgout Canal floodgate is yet another critical piece in our efforts to complete the Morganza to the Gulf system,” said State Senator Norby Chabert. “I’m proud to have lead the effort to secure the funding for this critical piece of flood protection infrastructure.”