Coast Guard, FEMA to Help Raise Ships

Monday, March 13, 2006
Boats and vessels sunk by Hurricane Katrina soon will be removed by the Coast Guard in 10 St. Tammany Parish waterways, according to Parish President Kevin Davis. The project by the Coast Guard will begin before the end of the month, he said, and will be limited to waterways defined as commercially navigable under federal codes. But it will result in sunken vessels and other debris being removed from major canals and streams that help drain the parish, Davis said. Davis said the Coast Guard has agreed to clear Salt Bayou, the Rigolets, the Pearl and Tchefuncte rivers, and bayous Liberty and Bonfouca. The Coast Guard also will unclog the North Shore, Geohagen, Oyster Factory and East Diversion canals, Davis said. In addition to the Coast Guard, Davis said the parish will get help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to remove building debris and sunken boats from six waterways in the Slidell area not considered commercially navigable. FEMA has approved $1.4 million for the project that will clear the Louisiana 433 Canal, Grand Lagoon, the Eden Isles canals, Coin du Lestin canals, the U.S. 11 canals, and canals and levees in the Lake Shore community, parish officials said. The parish hopes to seek bids for the FEMA-financed work by the end of this week, Davis said. Bids will be sought for two weeks and work should begin by mid-April, he said. The parish last week signed a $5.2 million contract with another federal agency, the National Resources Conservation Service, to clear several waterways and drainage arteries of hurricane debris. But the project by the NRCS is limited to smaller streams and requires a 25 percent local match.

By Charlie Chapple Source: Times Picayune

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