Federal judge signs order to temporarily restrain aquadams in Iberville
UPDATE: East Baton Rouge officials confirmed to WBRZ Friday that the parish government filed a lawsuit against Iberville Parish over it deploying its aquadams.
Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso made the decision to utilize the aquadams Thursday night with Tropical Storm Barry closing in.
Baton Rouge officials say they fear the aquadams could inadvertently lead to flooding being diverted from Iberville into East Baton Rouge.
Friday night, a federal judge signed an order to temporarily restrain Iberville from using the aquadams.
"I will abide by the federal judge's ruling," Ourso told WBRZ late Friday night. "I will update the citizens of St. Gabriel on what's next tomorrow."
IBERVILLE PARISH - The flooding rains haven't even started yet and already there's controversy.
Friday morning, Iberville Parish began inflating aquadams to protect Iberville and Ascension Parishes from East Baton Rouge Parish's water. As soon as the aquadams were unrolled, East Baton Rouge told WBRZ it sued Iberville Parish over it.
The dams will be set up along Bayou Manchac.
Parish President Mitch Ourso made the decision Thursday night.
#BREAKING I’ve just confirmed that aquadams are being mobilized in Iberville and parts of Ascension Parish to hold water in Bayou Manchac during this possible flood event. @WBRZ https://t.co/iaCU1R21AT— Chris Nakamoto WBRZ (@ChrisNakamoto) July 12, 2019
However, East Baton Rouge later backtracked and said they were working on a lawsuit. The lawsuit will be filed in federal court.
Mayor Sharon Weston Broome told WBRZ, "I felt that as the leader of our city and parish that I had to take some next steps until we can come to a resolution."
Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso has remained firm on his position and said he's only trying to protect his people.
In an interview this week, Ourso said, "It's no fun when the rabbits got the gun. It's an election year, what do they want me to do fall down?"
Water spilled over Manchac Road during August 2016 and the aquadams were purchased after the flood to prevent that kind of catastrophic flooding again. Ourso said he will use them to protect his people, and stands by his decision to do so.
Authorities have closed Bayou Paul Lane and Manchac Road to place the aquadams.
There have been no reports of flooding in the area at this time.
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