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Since 1968, the South Lafourche Levee District has been proactive in providing the highest degree of flood protection possible to the South Lafourche Community.  Through partnerships with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the Louisiana Coastal Protection & Restoration Authority, the Greater Lafourche Port Commission and many others, we continue to improve on past successes and ensure the resiliency of the community against coastal flooding.


The United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) completes its study of the Grand Isle and Vicinity Project, evaluating the cost-effectiveness of constructing a levee system in southern Lafourche Parish.  On October 27, Congress authorizes a ring levee system to be constructed around the communities of Larose, Cut Off, and Galliano and the town of Golden Meadow.  Originally authorized elevations for earthen levees are 13' above sea level on the southern end, tapering to 8.5' above sea level on the northern end.



Through the leadership of State Representative Richard "Dick" Guidry, the South Louisiana Tidal Water Control Levee District is signed into law by Gov. John McKiethen to provide flood protection to southern Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes and to serve as the Non-Federal Sponsor to the newly authorized Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System.

The jurisdiction of the Levee District is restructured to focus on the southern part of Lafourche Parish, south of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW) and is renamed the South Lafourche Levee District (SLLD).

State Representative Richard "Dick" Guidry watches as Governor John McKeithen signs the bill creating what is now known as the South Lafourche Levee District


The SLLD and USACE complete the first section of the levee system (Section A-West) along the southwestern portion of the Town of Golden Meadow and the overall system.


The first pump station in the new levee system is built south of Golden Meadow.


Windell Curole is named General Manager of the South Lafourche Levee District, succeeding Webster Pierce.


Another 16 miles of levees are constructed, along with the Golden Meadow floodwalls.


The Golden Meadow Floodgate is constructed two months before Hurricane Juan to an elevation of 13' (though later deficiencies in area geodetic survey benchmarks prove the elevation to be only 11.5').


Hurricane Juan impacts south Lafourche in late October, overtopping all parish drainage levees with a storm surge of 7'.  The community experiences over $35 million in damages. No Levee District levees are overtopped, proving the need for higher protection.  The sections of the levee alignment where the Larose to Golden Meadow system are not yet constructed are only protected by parish drainage levees not designed for hurricane protection.  The newly constructed Golden Meadow Floodgate reduces the storm surge flooding by an estimated 2 feet, likely preventing numerous deaths in the area.

Hurricane Juan floods the Tarpon Heights Subdivision in Galliano with storm surges of 7'


The Larose Floodgate is constructed to an elevation of 10', enabling the Levee District to greatly reduce the flooding of LA Hwy 1 in Golden Meadow caused by normal high tides through the active management of both the Larose and Golden Meadow Floodgates.


Hurricane Andrew pushes 6' of water into the Cut Off area.  Improvements made since Hurricane Juan prove effective, preventing flooding to the inside of the South Lafourche Levee System.


The Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System is completely closed, providing protection to the entire project area in south Lafourche.  The Levee District begins to construct the 2nd and 3rd lifts of the levee system, replacing elevation of the levee lost due to subsidence.


Hurricanes Katrina & Rita inundate southern Louisiana, but the South Lafourche Levee System prevents flooding to the community.  The South Lafourche Levee District leads efforts to urge Governor Kathleen Blanco to sue the Federal Government for a share of the revenues generated by sales of offshore oil & gas leases.  The lawsuit leads to the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA), which allocates a portion of offshore oil & gas lease sales to begin funding coastal protection and restoration projects throughout the state, including projects along the Larose to Golden Meadow Levee System.


The New Orleans District Corps of Engineers receives $14 billion in Federal funding for improvements to several levee systems in southeast Louisiana, but the South Lafourche Levee District receives limited Federal assistance.  The District management begins to develop plans to improve the levee system without the help of the Federal Government, targeting elevations of 16' in the southern end and 13' in the northern end.

To fund necessary improvements, the South Lafourche Levee District Board of Commissioners requests a 1% sales tax to be collected in the South Lafourche community.  On November 7, 2006, the voters approve the sales tax with 82.24% of the vote in favor.


Hurricanes Gustav & Ike inundate southern Louisiana, but the South Lafourche Levee System once again prevents flooding to the community.  Hurricane Gustav hits on the critical path for south Lafourche and has the basic parameters of the storm against which the Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System was designed to withstand.  Flood elevations reach an elevation of 8', leaving 4'-5' of freeboard to the crown of the levee at the time, demonstrating that the system may be capable of protecting the community against a more powerful storm and that the less costly levee design and construction methods utilized by the Levee District are dependable.


The Leon Theriot Floodgate in Golden Meadow is converted into a Lock structure in order to facilitate vessel traffic to Port Fourchon during exceptionally high tides to prevent flooding to the Town of Golden Meadow and greatly reducing the chance of vessels being left out of the protection of the levee system during a tropical storm or hurricane.


After completing several improvements to the system without the assistance of the Federal Government, the United States Army Corps of Engineers decertifies the South Lafourche Levee System and expels the system from the Rehabilitation and Inspection Program, since the Levee District followed sound, proven engineering principles, rather than the onerous guidelines created by the USACE in response to the failures of the Federally-designed levee system around New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. This action by the Federal Government prevents the system from receiving any Federal funds to repair damages from future hurricanes.


On August 29, the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Ida makes landfall in Lafourche Parish as a Category 4 storm, becoming the second-most damaging and intense hurricane in Louisiana history, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph at landfall.  Hurricane Ida puts the improved Larose to Golden Meadow Hurricane Protection System to the ultimate test, which it passes with minimal overtopping, no levee or structural failures, and no water in homes or businesses from coastal flooding.


Improvements to the South Lafourche Levee System after Hurricane Katrina prevent flooding to the Delta Farms Community in Larose


General Manager Windell Curole retires after 42 years of service to the South Lafourche community. The Board of Commissioners appoints South Lafourche native Nicholas Matherne, CFM, as his successor.

On June 1, the South Lafourche Levee District joins the State of Louisiana Attorney General's Office, 9 other states, 43 Louisiana Parishes, 2 towns, 12 other levee districts, and the Association of Levee Boards of Louisiana to file a lawsuit against FEMA related to the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0, the agency's updated methodology for calculating risk that informs premium amounts for the National Flood Insurance Program.

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