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Iberville and Ascension Parish work to drain Spanish Lake basin

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IBERVILLE PARISH – Both Ascension and Iberville Parish are using extra tools to help drain Spanish Lake.

The backwater has been stuck in neighborhoods in Geismar, Prairieville and St. Gabriel since last Monday. Until the levels go down, homeowners can’t escape the water.

This is the third time Daisy Comeaux has had to deal with standing water creeping up to her home and quilt shop near St. Gabriel.

“The store is closed, and it will be closed for further notice,” Comeaux said.

Water from Spanish Lake is covering the walkway to her store Cottage Creations and Quilts.

"We're paying for drainage taxes, and nothing is being done. The AquaDams get put up, but we still flood. All of the neighbors have to sandbag,” Comeaux said.

Wednesday morning, parish officials put new relief efforts in place. The Iberville Parish President was able to open up three flood gates on Manchac Road. They were rebuilt after the 2016 flood to move water from Spanish Lake to Bayou Manchac.

"It's a $3.5 million gate that, in a 24-hour period, is taking 485 million of gallons of water into Manchac and getting out of here,” Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso said.

Ourso says, each day, an inch and a half or two inches of water will leave the Iberville side of the road.

"It's a slow process, but it is flowing,” Ourso said.

Just up the road, water is also flowing out of Spanish Lake through pumps into Bayou Manchec in Ascension Parish. The goal was to have six pumps in operation, but Parish President Clint Cointment said they have come across some challenges installing them. So at the end of the week, the parish is going to cut through Alligator Bayou Road at Fish Bayou for additional drainage.

"We're working for the same goal to protect our people,” Ourso said.

Comeaux hopes these efforts will get rid of the standing water near her home and business.

"This is not what we want the new normal for 2021. This needs to be over with,” Comeaux said.

She said she can't wait until people can get back inside her quilt shop.

“This is my income, and it's something to look forward to for our quilting community,” she said.

Iberville Parish also deployed 13,000 feet of AquaDam. Those will be decommissioned in the next five to six days. Around 140 homes flooded in Iberville Parish.

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