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Flood gates are now open near Lake Bigeaux

Posted at 4:56 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 20:39:11-04

HENDERSON — The flood gates are open near Lake Bigeaux in St. Martin Parish. The gates are opened every year during hurricane season. Henderson Mayor Sherbin Colette says the Butte La Rose canal is 17 ft deep, but adds it should be at 14 ft. Several inches of rain can mean flooded homes.

"If it [Cristobal] would drop 10-12 inches of water from here all the way up to Shreveport, the basin can't handle all that water. So we're trying to get all the space we can to hold it, and get some off," Colette explained. "If we get all that rain, there's a potential we could flood."

Divers and crew members on boats cleared debris in the canal and opened a gate several feet under the water as Tropical Storm Cristobal makes its way to the coast.

"We know we have a storm coming our way, and right now it's not that bad. But it's a storm, it can change. You have to prepare for the worst, and that's what we're doing," Colette said.

The gates aren't the only efforts being made before Cristobal's anticipated landfall on Sunday. Colette says they also plan on draining Bayou Cortableau by two feet. Last year during Hurricane Barry the canal was 19 ft deep, and Colette says these same efforts helped save the area.

"So, you'll have bigger area for the capacity of the water we're going to get. We did it last year, and it saved Henderson, to tell you the truth," the mayor explained.

He also says, opening the gates will allow a better fishing season in Lake Bigeaux because of the fresh water that will come in.

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