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Amite River, Diversion Canal closed to recreational boat traffic

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GONZALES - Officials in Ascension Parish announced Monday that the Amite River and Diversion Canal waterways will be closed to recreational boat traffic effective immediately and will remain closed until further notice.

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez signed an executive order Monday morning after officials decided to suspect recreational boating because of high water levels and large amounts of floating debris due to heavy rainfall in the region over the weekend.

Residents who live along these waterways have experienced the effects of the deluge first-hand.

"Ascension Parish turns on a big pumping system and it all funnels the water into this area," said Ascension Parish resident, Jared Mabile.

The Marvin J. Braud pumping station drains water from low-lying areas and diverts it to other waterways like the Diversion Canal which merges with the Blind River.

This causes water levels to rise, and right now, parish authorities don't see it going back to normal just yet. 

Parish officials could not give an estimated timeline on when the waterways would reopen to recreational boat traffic, but a release is expected when the determination to reopen the waterways is made.

"We don't expect any structural flooding, we just anticipate water remaining the same over the next couple of days," said Rick Webre, director of Ascension Parish's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.


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