Aqua dams deployed in Bayou Sorrel as water continues to rise
BAYOU SORREL- As stormy skies cleared their way for a beautiful Mothers’ Day, water levels in one Iberville Parish community are continuing to rise.
"What happens is the rain that we've gotten, from Pointe Coupee, West Baton Rouge, and Plaquemine, it all bottlenecks right here in these Bayou Sorrel locks. And that's what makes the water sit here and it goes out very slow,” Iberville Parish councilman Louis Kelley said.
Aqua damns that were purchased after the 2016 flood, were rolled on out along Highway 75.
"We took them out of our aqua dam storage in St. Gabrielle. We're going to be all right in St. Gabrielle as I was just reviewing Bayou Manchac yesterday and I think we're going to be okay," Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso said.
But down in Bayou Sorrel, officials are hoping to keep water off the roadway, and out of peoples' homes.
Ourso said that the situation is slightly different than what happened back in 2016.
"We were fortunate in 2016 that when we did have the flood water here in 2016, that at the Bayou Sorrel locks, that the spillway side was lower than the Intracoastal side. And our lock master was able to let the water through here to get in the spillway. But this time we're not as blessed because we're five or six foot higher on the spillway side."
With water already creeping into some homes, workers began inflating the aqua damns in total, measuring at around 1,600 feet in length.
"Bringing portions of these aqua dams down here to prevent this road (from flooding). It's so much quicker and easier to deploy these things instead of fooling with the manpower with the sandbags," Ourso said.
Kelley said the water is expected to rise another 3 to 5 inches. And the dams could be in place for two to three weeks.
"Hopefully we don't get a lot more water and in a couple of weeks we can pull this up,” Kelley said.
"This is not our first rodeo with this, and hopefully we don't have any more rain and I think we'll be all right,” Ourso said.
State police and the Iberville Parish Sheriff's office will be directing traffic around those aqua dams as long as they are out there. Anyone who needs sandbags for their homes is asked to call the sheriff's office.