Barge floodgate may be installed to combat backwater flooding if Morganza Spillway is opened
The Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority may begin installing a temporary barge floodgate on Bayou Chene Tuesday. Once the spillway is opened the water that flows down the Atchafalaya River will naturally flood Morgan City. But Chairman of the Coastal Protection Restoration Authority Board Chip Kline says by sinking the barge in Bayou Chene…
“We prevent that additional water flow from getting into the communities that are east of Morgan City that experience that backwater flooding.”
The U.S Army Corps of Engineers will make the final decision of whether to open the spillway May 28th.
Kline says the Morganza’s opening in 2011 was problematic but this time wildlife and people in the area will have time to adjust to the spillway.
“They are going to do a slow opening. One bay a day for six bays so that wildlife will have time to adapt as well as the farmers who have livestock.”
Opening the spillway will flood thousands of acres of farmland but Kline says if the Morganza is not opened it could have devastating effects on the Bayou State.
“If this is closed with the amount of water that could be coming down the Mississippi and the devastation that could happen to Baton Rouge and even New Orleans would be astronomical.”
Officials say the installation of the barge would begin May 28th and any water flow from the spillway would not arrive in the area until two weeks after it is opened.