Pumps are being used to help Ascension Parish flooding
UPDATE: Ascension President Clint Cointment announced Monday the cut was reopened after it was closed over the weekend due to heavy rain.
This is a breaking update. Read the original story below.
PRAIRIEVILLE - Ascension officials cut into Alligator Bayou Road Friday to help alleviate high water left behind by last week's downpour.
On Wednesday, Parish President Clint Cointment said the Ascension Department of Public Works plans to cut Alligator Bayou Road at Fish Bayou to facilitate drainage from Spanish Lake and Bluff Swamp basin. The process will begin either this Friday or Saturday.
The parish said earlier this week it was using three pumps, with three more on standby, in that area to facilitate drainage. As of Wednesday, six pumps were operating with two more on the way.
Officials said the pumps can each discharge about 20,000 gallons of water per minute. They noticed the water getting lower immediately once the pumps were active, but it will take several weeks to move the volume of water from the basin.
"I'm not overly stressed, but I got to bed at night thinking about it," said Mike Gonzales, who lives on Ridge Road.
Gonzales is one of the lucky ones who is staying dry. He installed an AquaDam around his home to keep it from flooding. But in order to get to his house he has to drive through high water.
"There's at least a dozen or a dozen and a half houses that have water right now," Gonzales said.
Until the water goes down, Gonzales says he and his neighbors are stuck in a waiting game.
President Clint Cointment said his office is monitoring the river gauges along Bayou Manchac.
As of Friday, crews are also operating a total of seven pumps, four 30-inch axle driven pumps, and three 24-inch tractor pumps.