The Morganza Spillway will now be opened June 6th.
The Army Corps of Engineers made the decision because of what is taking place north of the Mississippi River. Governor John Bel Edwards toured the sunken barge on Thursday and further addressed the Morganza Spillway.
“We know that this Barge will be successful in helping us to redirect waters that would otherwise contribute to the backwater flooding that is taking place across five parishes right now before the Morganza is even open,” Edwards said.
The Governor also revealed new protective measures for future flooding.
“I’m happy to say that we are actually going to have a permanent flood gate constructed just a few hundred feet from here (the barge). We are going to invest 80 million dollars into that floodgate. The construction should start next year and it will be complete in one to two years. The next time this happens, we will be able to push a button and within the one or two hours, we will have a closed floodgate and we will have this protective measure in place,” Edwards said.
St. Martin Parish is one of the parishes that deals with excessive backwater flooding. Parish President, Chester Ceaders says he is optimistic everything will work out and thankful for how quickly everyone worked together.
The Governor says the sinking of the barge should be complete by Sunday. He says the Morganza opening being pushed back to next Thursday should save those parishes who receive backwater flooding.