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STATE AGENCIES CONTINUE FLOOD FIGHTING EFFORTS, SUPPORT LOCAL GOVERNMENT NEEDS

May 24, 2011

State agencies continue their efforts to fight and prepare for flooding in communities across Louisiana. Updates from individual agencies are below.
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FLOOD FIGHTING EFFORTS

In support of State and Parish requirements, the Louisiana National Guard has approximately 1,150 Guardsmen mobilized for this emergency. Yesterday, Louisiana Guardsmen assisted in the identification of five new Sand or Pin Boils in northeast Louisiana. Guardsmen have now located and flagged 193 Sand or Pin Boils to date:

  • 77 in East Carroll
  • Nine in Madison
  • 35 in Tensas
  • 72 in Concordia

To date, DOTD has delivered 39,289 cubic yards of sand, 40,263 cubic yards of dirt, 20,713 cubic yards of RAP and 234,900 sandbags across the state in support of flood protection efforts. This represents more than 10,000 truckloads of material (sand/dirt) that could fill approximately 30 Olympic-sized swimming pools and enough sandbags to build a one foot levee for approximately nine miles.

St. Martin Parish

DOTD utilized 10 dump trucks to haul sand to LaRose in Lafourche Parish.

St. Mary

Parish National Guard teams in Morgan City continue to improve and fortify the existing 8,340 linear feet of HESCO barrier. Yesterday, the Guard completed covering the HESCO wall with visqueen and securing with sandbags. Guard Engineer crews remain on site to maintain and fortify the work site. National Guard teams in Amelia continue to improve and fortify the existing 10,000 linear feet of HESCO barrier.

Yesterday, Guardsmen completed covering the HESCO wall with visqueen and securing with sandbags. Engineer crews remain on site to maintain and fortify the work site.

In Siracusaville the initial installation of 7,500 linear feet of HESCO barrier is complete. Yesterday, the Guard completed covering the HESCO wall with visqueen and securing with sandbags. Engineer crews remain on site to maintain and fortify the work site. At Avoca Road, near Amerlia, Guard crews completed the installation of 8,900 linear feet of visqueen to protect an existing levee and also completed 400 linear feet of HESCO wall to extend the levee protection.

To support parish efforts to add additional protection to the levee, Guardsmen transported 202 super sand bags to the barge site established by the Corps of Engineers.

East Carroll and Madison Parish

To date, DOTD has hauled from Morehouse Parish 12,300 cubic yards of sand to East Carroll (10,040 cys) and Madison (2,261 cys) parishes. DOTD has hauled approximately 213,900 sandbags to flood protection efforts across the affected northern parishes that line the Mississippi River (Tensas and East Carroll parishes).

Bonnet Carre Spillway

After the CN Railroad bridge over the Bonnet Carre Spillway was damaged by debris Sunday, DOTD engineers are conducting routine inspections of the I-10 bridge which runs parallel to the rail bridge to ensure it remains safe for motorist. The railroad is planning emergency repairs, which are estimated to last 48 hours. DOTD has reviewed and approved CN Railroad’s repair plans and will monitor the repair construction.

East Baton Rouge Parish

DOTD has completely closed all lanes of River Road (La. 327) a half mile south of Brightside Drive for a distance of less than a mile. The closure is expected to last for the duration of the high water event. DOTD state detour routes are Skip Bertman Drive on the northern end and Gardere Lane on the southern end of the closure. The total closure of River Road is necessary to allow crews from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, the Department of Transportation and Development and the Pontchartrain Levee District to continue monitoring work, which is being coordinated with the City of Baton Rouge and the East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. Crews will place additional sand bags on the levee, install seepage monitors and perform levee survey work. This work is being performed as a precautionary measure and to collect survey data. The Duncan Point area is a known seepage area and these actions will ensure the continued performance of the protection system. There is no immediate threat of flooding or levee performance.

West Baton Rouge Parish

To support the West Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office sandbagging operation, yesterday Guardsmen transported the remaining 200 empty pallets of the total 1,000 pallets from Amelia to Port Allen. DOTD hauled 169 cubic yards of sand to the West Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office for sandbagging operations. This brings the total to 337 cubic yards of sand. Additionally, DOTD hauled approximately 21,000 sandbags from West Baton Rouge Parish in flood fortification efforts across the state, including operations in Stephensville, Butte LaRose and Amelia.

PROTECTING WILDLIFE

Because of rising floodwaters, many animals have been displaced from their normal habitats. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has 205 enforcement agents and 26 wildlife staff on duty and they staged a Mobile Command Unit in Krotz Springs, in addition to deploying 103 all terrain vehicles and two amphibious airplanes.

LDWF continues to track and respond to reports of wildlife as necessary. In total, there have been 14 reported bear sightings. The Louisiana Black Bear remains on the threatened and endangered species list.

For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, LDWF asks the public call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.

For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:

  • Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
  • Hammond 985-543-4777
  • Monroe 318-343-4044
  • New Iberia 337-373-0032
  • Opelousas 337-948-0255
  • Pineville 318-487-5885

Department of Corrections DOC offender crews have provided the labor to fill 439,000 sandbags so far. Department of Environmental Quality DEQ staff flew over the Atchafalaya Basin from the Atchafalaya River delta to the Morganza spillway monitor the status of 37 oil and gas exploration and production facilities along with all other facilities with large above ground storage tanks, such as tank terminals and refueling terminals, including the refinery located at Krotz Springs.

For emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

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