U.S. Senators David Vitter and Bill Cassidy sent a letter last Friday to senior officials within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging them to reallocate any possible funds toward the dredging of an important segment of the Red River, which has experienced historic flooding in the last 12 months.
“Not only has the historic flooding in Louisiana over the last year devastated entire communities, but the lack of dredging the Red River will also make it extremely difficult for commerce to continue,” said Sen. Vitter. “Right now, the state is millions of dollars short of what they need to dredge the Red River, which is why reallocating any available funds immediately must be a top priority for the Army Corps.”
In the letter, the senators, together with U.S Representatives Charles Boustany, Jr., M.D., Steve Scalise, John Fleming, M.D., Cedric Richmond and Ralph Abraham, M.D., wrote to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works), and Colonel John Cross who leads the Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging them to reallocate all possible funds toward the dredging of the J. Bennet Johnston Waterway segment of the Red River from Alexandria, La. to Shreveport, La.
This is a follow-up to the April 2016 Louisiana Congressional delegation letter to the Vicksburg District office, in which they stressed the urgent need to further fund the dredging project.
Currently, Louisiana needs at least $2.7 million to maintain the authorized 9-foot deep by 200-foot wide channel in the J. Bennett Johnston Waterway segment of the Red River.