PORT FOURCHON — A multimillion dollar effort to restore Port Fourchon’s beach, dune and marsh is set for completion this spring.
Lafourche Parish coastal zone manager Archie Chaisson III tells The Courier that dredging work to rebuild portions of the beach wrapped up last week.
The West Belle Pass Headland restoration project involves rebuilding 8,500 feet of beach and dune with 1.6 million cubic yards of dredged sand.
Workers are erecting fences to help prevent erosion on newly built dunes. The project wraps up next year with planting of marsh grasses and mangroves on newly built marshland.
The project is part of the Coastal Wetlands Planning Protection and Restoration Act program, a state and federal partnership.
6-alarm fire in N.O.
NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Fire Department is investigating the cause of a six-alarm fire that damaged several buildings, including a church, and displaced at least five families in the city’s Central City neighborhood on Saturday.
The Times-Picayune reports that no injuries were reported in the blaze, which broke out around 3 p.m.
A spokesman for the fire department said it took 90 minutes for roughly 100 firefighters to get the fire under control.
Ten buildings, including Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church, and several cars were damaged in the fire.
Isaac’s East B.R. toll is at $9M
BATON ROUGE — Budget documents show that Hurricane Isaac’s financial toll on East Baton Rouge Parish exceeded $9 million.
The Advocate reports that Baton Rouge will reimbursed for all but $2.5 million of those expenses, with $5.7 million in funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The state will pay an additional $830,000 to cover storm damage in the parish, while St. John the Baptist Parish is expected to pay the parish $3,155 for animal control services it provided.
More than $6 million that the city-parish government spent in response to the August hurricane covered the cost of debris removal. Roughly $2.1 million was spent on emergency response measures.
Isaac’s toll on Baton Rouge was less severe than Hurricane Gustav, which cost the city-parish more than $53 million in 2008.
“It could have been a lot worse,” said William Daniel, chief administrative officer for Mayor-President Kip Holden. “But it really points out why we have to have money in our reserve fund, if we have to expend $9 million before we get paid back.”
Marsha Hanlon, city-parish finance director, said the reimbursement process for Isaac should be quicker than what followed Gustav. Most of the Isaac-related funds still owed the city-parish should arrive within a few months, she said.
4 arrested in French Quarter armed robbery
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans police have arrested four suspects in an armed robbery in the city’s French Quarter.
Police say a group of people were trying to hail a cab early Sunday morning when one of the suspects approached and robbed them at gunpoint, stealing a victim’s wallet before fleeing in a silver vehicle.
One of the victims gave the vehicle’s license plate number to police officers, who stopped the car and arrested the four suspects. Police also seized two guns they allegedly found in the car.
NOAA coast survey panel meeting
NEW ORLEANS — Navigation safety and the accuracy of land information data for coastal management are among topics to be discussed this week at a meeting of a National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration advisory group.
Commercial shipping and natural hazard warning and response for the Gulf region will also be discussed in public meetings Tuesday through Thursday by the Hydrographic Services Review Panel.
It will hear from people and businesses using NOAA’s navigation data, products and services. Products include hydrographic surveys, nautical charts, tides and geodetic and geospatial measurements.
NOAA invites coastal planners, emergency responders and others who use the data to attend the meetings at the Astor Crowne Plaza. Public comment sessions are scheduled each afternoon.
Details and meeting agenda are available on the Office of Coast Survey website.
in armed robbery
LAFAYETTE — Lafayette police have arrested two teenage suspects in an armed robbery in which they allegedly stole the victim’s vehicle.
The Advertiser reports that the victim was washing his vehicle late Saturday when the suspects approached him wearing bandanas over the faces.
One of the suspects allegedly brandished a gun and demanded money. The suspects allegedly stole his wallet and jewelry and drove off with his vehicle.
The suspects, 18-year-old Rondell Williams and a 17-year-old boy, were later stopped by a police officer and arrested on charges that included armed robbery and aggravated kidnapping.
From The Associated Press.