St. Mary

Jun 21, 2011 7:34 PM by Melissa Hawkes

Emergency Dredging Starting in Morgan City

Water in the Atchafalya River is going down about two inches a day. Officials said on Tuesday it was six feet and eight inches high, but as the water fades away sediment is becoming more and more apparent.
St. Mary Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness Director, Duval Arthur, said "some of these areas where there is no current-sand will settle and form sand bars."
Even though you can't see it from looking above the water, there are about seven sand bars that have developed close to where many boats dock. Officials said if a boat attempted to dock there now, most would get stuck.
Arthur said, the Army Corps of Engineers drove a boat down the Atchfalya River to check the depth of the river. Officials discovered emergency dredging is necessary.
"They couldn't very well do this when the water was up high," he said. "They had to wait until the water got to a certain depth in order to start the process."
Officials predict it'll take seven days of work to clear out all of the sand bars.
"A dredge with a jet pump on it and its going to kind of bust the sand up to get it to where it will be floating in the water again," he said.
The goal is to force the sediment out to the middle of the river, so it can get caught up in the current and then head down south.

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