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Lafayette firm making flood barriers to protect St. Martin

Posted at 5:47 PM, May 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-27 12:01:08-04

Flood prevention preparations are continuing throughout lower St. Martin Parish as the Atchafalaya River rises.

Highway 70 is lined with heavy-duty sand bags, and right now the Butte LaRose pontoon bridge is closed until further notice.

There will be two meetings this week to talk about how the possible opening of the Morganza Spillway could impact the area. On Tuesday, the Army Corps of Engineers will host a meeting at the Butte LaRose Fire Station at 6 p.m.

The second meeting will be held at Morgan City High School on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Today, DOTD crews continued setting up the sacks to control flooding, while bringing in water retention dams and flood barriers. Some of those barriers are being made right here in Lafayette.

“We make cellular barriers that are meant for flood defense,” says Danny Schnaars, vice president of AmeriGlobe LLC. “Currently the Department of Transportation and Development is installing 6000 feet of our barriers on Highway 70 because its been flooded and they haven’t had a way to open the road.”

The barriers are called “Barrier Force flood barriers.” This year they have been installed in Iowa and North Dakota, and now in Louisiana.

The company’s barriers have been used to open flooded roads, to protect schools, communities, and various infrastructure items. In 2011, two miles of the barriers were used to increase the height of a section of the Mississippi River levee south of Baton Rouge, Schnaars said.