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Boaters urged to stay out of flooded Vermilion River

Posted at 10:19 PM, May 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-23 23:19:02-04

The Vermilion River is usually a popular place for boats, but this Memorial Day weekend, it will be empty.

In the last weeks, rainfall has caused three boat launches to be closed off to Lafayette Parish boaters. The river currently sits 6 feet above its usual 5-foot depth.

David Cheramie Chief Executive Officer of Bayou Vermilion District said, “We just advise people to not get on the bayou, not to get onto the river.”

Cheramie says the river has been over 10 feet for the past two weeks. “Unfortunately with all the rain, we have it may be a while until it goes down. It may not go down until next week.”

People who do go boating may cause wake for residents along on the river.

“When the water is this high the wakes go into people back yards and it contributes to erosion and it deteriorates peoples’ properties. ” The Cheramie explained.

Wake isn’t the only reason Cheramie is urging people to stay off the river. He says since all three boat launches are closed, it will be more difficult for emergency crews to respond to emergencies.

Water sits at flood height 11.5 feet, 5 feet above its normal height.

“There are still people on the bayou, I’m aware of that, but they really shouldn’t be. Because first of all, it’s a safety issue. It’s moving very fast. Its moving 2 feet per second which is twice its normal speed,” Cheramie said.

Cheramie says he hopes everyone still enjoys their weekend.

“I’m pretty sad people won’t be able to enjoy the waterways here, but there are plenty of other spots.” He added.