New plans are in the works to address flood conditions in the Teche-Vermilion watershed. The Teche-Vermilion Fresh Water District is working alongside UL and the Acadiana Planning Commission to focus on the issue.
Studies are being done to mitigate flooding in the watershed. We spoke with officials who say this plan will be effective long term.
According to officials, the $60,000 project will enhance water flow along the Vermilion.
For over three years, UL researched various conditions that contribute to flooding, such as rising tides, water surges from the Gulf, and rainfall. The university then pointed out an area where changes could have the most positive impacts.
“The purpose of the study was to look at how we can design operation schemes for these structures. When to open them and when to close them during flood conditions, during low flow conditions, to minimize the impact in terms of flooding and to maximize the benefit during low flow conditions and have more healthy water in the river," explained Dr. Emed Habib.
Habib, Director of Watershed Flood Center at UL says the studies show lowering flood gates and shutting down water pumping going into the Vermilion helps with reduced flooding.
“We were able to identify that closing Ruth Canal gates and lowering Bayou Courtableau in the north by shutting down the pumps that the district operates, that would help reduce flood stages by about four-tenths of a foot.”
Chairman of the Acadiana Planning Commission M. Larry Richard and Iberia Parish President say Lafayette is mainly affected by flooding from the Teche-Vermilion, which can occur when storms push water north, blocking water from exiting south into the Gulf.
Planning ahead is a great way to stay prepared ahead of potential flooding events.
“Lafayette for the most part is affected by rainfall and the conditions of the Gulf of Mexico. Which means the height of the water in the Gulf of Mexico and how much rainfall we actually get in Lafayette Parish.”
The state is accepting any public commentary on flooding through the Office of Community Development by October 25.
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