BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - As officials anticipate the possible reopening of the Morganza Spillway due record-high water levels, sand sacks are being deployed Friday along the flooded portion of LA 70 in lower St. Martin Parish.
The 100-foot-long sand sacks are located along LA 70 between mile posts 7.6 and 8.1, which is about two miles north of the LA 70/Stephensville Road intersection.
Portable water-filled dams were initially installed at that location in order to keep rising water at bay. However, vehicles traveling through the high water have created wakes, causing the dams to move out of place.
DOTD said it started engineering and survey work to raise parts of LA 70 in order to minimize future flooding. There isn’t a time frame on the elevation project since funding has not been secured.
High levels of the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers are causing flooding because the surrounding smaller tributaries have nowhere to drain.
DOTD is also deploying about 6,000 feet of aqua dams along LA 70 between LA 996 and LA 69 in Assumption Parish. The dams will help to manage rising water on the roadway and to keep the highway open for travel as long as possible. Aqua dams were used successfully on Airline Highway (U.S. 61) in Baton Rouge during the 2016 flood event.
It will take about two to three days to install the dams.
Local law enforcement will be present at these sites during installations.
Businesses in the flooded area regarding how their driveways will be affected during this operation, and the businesses have been supportive of the department’s efforts. The water-retention dams will also be installed so that the main entrances to Dow and Shell in order to prevent driveway flooding.