Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Three inches could make or break Memorial Day activity on False River

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UPDATE: Officials said water levels in the river have dropped low enough to reopen the waterway, and a safety inspection was completed. The river will reopen at 5 p.m. Friday.

This is a breaking update. Read the original story below. 


BATON ROUGE – With water levels too high, False River has been off limits to boaters for about a week now.

Parish officials are hopeful they’ll be able to reopen False River just in time for Memorial Day weekend.

The water rose after last week's heavy rain, but it is steadily going down. On Wednesday the water was just above 18 feet, at 18'1". Thursday it's at 17'8". The parish president says water has to be at 17'6" to resume boating activity after the sheriff’s office and Wildlife and Fisheries inspect it.

“Uncertain if it’s going to open or not has been a strain,” said Skeet Bass, the general manager of Sandbar on False River.

Bass is banking on False River reopening. Memorial Day weekend is one of the busiest for his business and having boaters pull up to the bar brings in more revenue.

“We're hoping for at least a couple hundred of people,” Bass said.

The parish president is confident the waters will be good to go by Saturday.

“The main reason people come out here is to be on the water. It’s beautiful, it’s the main attraction and what everyone wants to do,” Bass said.

Bass will open his doors no matter what during the weekend. He spent Thursday setting up a stage for live outdoor music.

“We have food trucks coming, we have everything to where even if the river is closed you can swim off of the pier in a designated area. At the end of the day, you’re still going to have a good time here,” Bass said.

All three gates are open at False River. If conditions continue, parish officials think levels will drop to 17'5" sometime Friday.


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