Bayou Chene flood gate ready by next week
MORGAN CITY - Residents in a five parish region will soon get relief after months of backwater flooding. The Bayou Chene flood gate should be complete by Wednesday, June 5, according to Tim Matte, director of the St. Mary Levee District.
Residents in St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne, Iberville, and Assumption Parishes have demanded the temporary flood gate since backwater flooding began more than two months ago. Many are dealing with flooded streets and some have water seeping into their homes.
The Atchafalaya Basin has had unusually high levels of water from the Mississippi River this year due to heavy snow and rain storms in the midwest.
Matte said Thursday the $7 million temporary flood gate was too expensive for the St. Mary Levee District to pay for itself. However, now that the Morganza Spillway will soon open, the state and federal governments have stepped in to cover the cost.
An $80 million permanent Bayou Chene flood gate will be operational by 2022 now that federal funds have been appropriated. Matte said it will be activated before backwater flooding reaches levels like what residents are experiencing this year.
"Our operating criteria says when the Atchafalaya River reaches seven feet at Morgan City, we would operate the structure," he said.
Matte said residents should have relief from backwater flooding soon after the temporary structure is in place.