South Lafourche Levee District

Richard "Dick" Guidry Complex

Without flood protection, nothing else matters.
        --Windell Curole

About Us

The South Lafourche Levee District is a state agency run by a board of locally appointed commissioners. Their work is to develop plans that will provide flood protection from tidal waters and hurricanes.

     The board was formed by the state legislature in 1968 in response to the need to find a local sponsor for the Corps of Engineers Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection Project. This project was authorized by Congress on October 27, 1965. Unfortunately, the first work on the levee did not begin until 1976.

     Prior to this, the Town of Golden Meadow had developed a drainage system along with a wall along Bayou Lafourche to reduce tidal flooding which was increasing. The Lafourche Parish Police Jury had also developed a drainage system which covered most of the developed areas between Larose to Golden Meadow. The levees were from 3 to 5 ft. high. Although these systems were effective, they could not stop tidal surges from most storms.

     In 1985, Hurricane Juan with a storm surge of 7 ft., overtopped all the parish drainage levees and caused $35,000,000 worth of damage. None of the Levee District’s levees allowed water into the system. It was obvious that the larger levees were needed and necessary.

     In 1992 Hurricane Andrew pushed 6 ft. of water up to the Cut Off area. This time the Levee District’s levees had replaced the old drainage levees and there was no flooding except outside the Levee District’s hurricane protection system.

     Since this time, our levees have survived many storms over the years including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, and Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.  During these storms the area experienced storm surges taht were greater than those of Hurricane Juan in 1985.  Ant though the waters rose high, our levees held strong and did not overtop.

 

Pump Stations and Floodgates

     The construction of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System included constructing new pump stations for drainage and floodgates in Bayou Lafourche.

     The old parish pumps were not powerful enough to push drainage water over the new large hurricane protection levees. The new pumps are much more powerful in much stronger stations.

     The floodgates in Larose and Golden Meadow prevent flooding by stopping tidal water and hurricane surge water from overtopping the bayou banks and flooding property. The Leon Theriot Floodgate (formerly Golden Meadow Floodgate) can hold back a surge of 11.5 ft. This floodgate is in the final stages of transformation into a lock.  The lock will provide added protection for the community as well as a safe harbor for marine vessels seeking safety during storms. 

     The Ted Gisclair Floodgate (formerly Larose Floodgate) is designed to protect against a 10 foot surge.

     South Lafourche Levee District personnel spend a large amount of time, money and effort maintaining the mechanical equipment at the pump stations and floodgates.

 

Levees

     The Hurricane Protection Levees are designed to protect the area from Larose to south of Golden Meadow, LA from category two (2) hurricanes. To provide this protection the levees were built with a wide base with an elevation of +13 ft. above sea level on the south end and +9 ft. on the north end. The base of the levee varies from 150 to 400 ft. wide.

     The ring levee was closed in 1996.  A third lift has been added to all sections except for C-North (Larose area).  New elevations now range from +16 ft. at the south end (Golden Meadow) and +9 ft. at the north end (Larose). 

The levees are properly maintained with good grass cover to ensure their survival against hurricane surges.


For more information on the South Lafourche Levee District, check out the History of SLLD page.