grand isle

Travis Lux / WWNO

Last August, several days of heavy rain flooded the Baton Rouge area. From Baton Rouge to Denham Springs to Gonzales -- rising waters flooded out around one hundred thousand homes and caused billions of dollars worth of damage. Recovery is ongoing, even nine months later.


The Baton Rouge area isn’t the only part of the state still struggling this many months out. The damage rippled out across the state -- all the way down to the tiny town of Leeville, near Grand Isle, along the coast.


The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has suspended toll collections at La. 1 in Leeville in response to the mandatory evacuation of Grand Isle, the agency announced this afternoon.

DOTD says the tolls have been suspended in order to facilitate emergency and protective services and evacuation as Tropical Storm Karen approaches the coast. The agency will make an announcement when tolls are scheduled to resume.

In December, the forecasted revenue for the LA1 toll-bridge will be less than the bill the state owes that month on the borrowed money it took to build it. Toll revenue is by statute bound to pay off the bonds. If the state defaults on the bridge, it could negatively effect the entire state's credit rating.

The LA1 bridge is the only way to access Port Fourchon and Grande Isle by car. The bridge was built after hurricanes wiped out parts of the unelevated road now called "Old LA1."

The state ethics board has scheduled a March 7 hearing for Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph.

The Daily Comet reports she's accused of breaking state ethics law by renting her camp on Grand Isle to BP PLC after the company paid the parish $1 million for expenses related to the 2010 oil spill.

Ethics Board spokeswoman Alainna Giacone has said that, as an official of a parish doing business with BP, Randolph could not do personal dealings with the company.

In Grand Isle, a barrier island that took a direct hit from Hurricane Isaac overnight, damage was reported to be widespread.

Jesse Delcambre, who stayed in the town hall because her fiance is a town employee, said the island was still covered by about 2 feet of water on Wednesday morning.

"The houses over here are all 12, 14 feet above ground on pilings." The few on slabs are flooded, she said.

National Hurricane Center

Evacuation has begun on Louisiana's only inhabited barrier island as Tropical Storm Isaac's path moves west.

Evacuations were also ordered Monday for about 2,000 Plaquemines Parish residents.

Gov. Bobby Jindal called a state of emergency, suggesting people leave low-lying parts of 15 coastal parishes where the National Weather Service called a hurricane warning. He says that if Isaac remains a threat to Louisiana, he may skip the Republican National Convention.

Mayor David Camardelle has declared a state of emergency for the Town of Grand Isle, and has issued a mandatory evacuation order.

The statement, issued at 2:00 p.m. this afternoon, was enacted due to the tropical storm watch — encompassing the entire eastern Gulf Coast — issued by the National Weather Service in advance of the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac.

The mandatory evacuation is in effect for camper trailers, recreational vehicles and tourists as of 2:00 p.m. today, and for all residents of Grand Isle as of 9:00 a.m. Monday, August 27.

Jefferson Parish officials say water service was back on Grand Isle Wednesday after a temporary clamp was successfully placed on a busted line that provided drinking water to the barrier island.

The repair was made about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

The Barataria Bay water transmission line was apparently damaged by a passing vessel Tuesday morning.