Morgan City prepares for rising water along Atchafalaya River

(Photo Credit: Elwood Shields, KLFY)

As the Atchafalya River continues to rise a state of emergency has been declared.

The Corp of Engineeers has predicted the river will crest on January 23rd, giving the St. Mary levee district only twenty days to prepare.

(Image Credit: Clinton Carter, KLFY)
(Image Credit: Clinton Carter, KLFY)

The last time the board was forced to declare a state of emergency because of flooding was back in 2011.

The river crested at 10.5 feet.

“We’ve got this pretty serious threat that the corp of engineers is predicting is going to reach a level of 9.5 that is a pretty significant flood for the Morgan City area.” said Tim Matte

The St. Mary Levee District held the meeting, but it’s not the only parish in danger if the river floods.

“It has impacts over five parish area Terrabone Parish, Assumption Parish, Lafource Parish, certainly lower St. Martin Parish.” said Matte

 

The odd timing of the flooding is also posing a problem for the area. (Photo Credit: Elwood Shields, KLFY)
The odd timing of the flooding is also posing a problem for the area.
(Photo Credit: Elwood Shields, KLFY)

 

“What’s unusual about this is it’s happening in January, normally these are spring time issues we are dealing with these in April and May.” said Matte

The levee district’s executive director Tim Matte says Monday nights meeting was held to vote for authorization of levee funds.

“We have already started soliciting prices on steel sheet piles, barge rentals.”

The motion passed.

Board members also passed a motion to close off Bayou Shane to provide regional protection. (Photo Credit: Elwood Shields, KLFY)
Board members also passed a motion to close off Bayou Shane to provide regional protection.
(Photo Credit: Elwood Shields, KLFY)

 

In total the board expects to spend over five million dollars.

“The big question in all of this is funding, so we are looking to our state delegation as well as congress.

One Congress asking for a presidential declaration that would possibly bring FEMA to the table to help fund.” said Matte

Phase two will begin on Wednesday of this week.

Prohibiting any activity within fifteen feet of the levee.

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