State Treasurer John Kennedy called for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Congress and the state of Louisiana to make the Comite River Diversion Canal a priority following the devastating flooding in south Louisiana.

"Once everyone impacted by the floods is safe, we need to sit down and decide how to get this project completed," Kennedy said. "This project has been on the drawing board since the last round of devastating flooding in the 1980s. The sad fact is that the flooding this week would not have been as devastating if this diversion canal existed."

The Comite River Diversion Canal would connect the Comite River to the Mississippi River, alleviating flooding in East Baton Rouge, Ascension and Livingston parishes. Some work has been done on the project, but the biggest components remain undone.

"The cost of the Comite River Diversion Canal is minuscule in comparison to the homes - not to mention the precious lives - it will save," Kennedy said. "The money that will be spent on flood response and rebuilding is money that should have been spent on protecting our citizens."