- At this point in the forecast, the 2016 flood event is predicted to be similar to what we saw in 2011. The Atchafalaya River in Morgan City crested just over 10 feet in 2011.
- Residents and businesses in areas prone to river flooding should prepare accordingly.
- The National Weather Service predicts a crest at Morgan City of 8.5 feet on or around January 23, 2016. Predictions are subject to change daily and residents should monitor the situation regularly.
- The National Weather Service forecast does not include water diverted through the Morganza Floodway Control Structure.
- US Army Corps of Engineers has said that if current predictions hold, the Morganza Control Structure will be opened on January 11, 2016.
- The Corps and Levee District are now conducting daily inspections of the levee system here in St. Mary Parish.
- Preparations are being made including work to install the Bayou Chene flood control structure (as was done in 2011) and the placement of HESCO barriers in areas prone to river flooding.
- The mission of the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office is to protect life and property by ensuring the integrity of the parish’s levee system. Our Marine and Patrol Divisions will continue to monitor the rising water. The public is prohibited from traveling on all levee roads, crowns, slopes, and bases. Those trespassing by riding or crossing on levees are subject to criminal penalties.
- Public boat landings in St. Mary Parish will remain open for as long as possible.
- The parish will be making sand bags available in certain areas. Those locations will be announced as soon as possible.
- The parish is monitoring water levels at the Yellow Bayou, Hanson, and Franklin Canals and are operating those flood controls as necessary.
- The higher waters forecast for the Atchafalaya will not significantly affect water levels on Bayou Teche. Again, the effects will be similar to those seen in 2011.
- The Corps of Engineers will have a presence in Morgan City at the new emergency planning center on Highway 182 (near the MC auditorium). The public is welcome to view maps that are on display and ask questions about inundation forecasts.
- The Avoca Island ferry will continue to operate until the water level reaches about 9 feet. That is the point at which the ferry was shut down in 2011.
- Vessel traffic is being closely monitored by the United States Coast Guard. The USCG has said no closures are expected with the current forecast 8.5 crest. The Port Allen Route can remain open until the level reaches about 10 feet.
- Also for vessel traffic, the Corps has said that it will be monitoring shoaling (places where the waterways become shallow).
- If you see something that you believe may lead to a potential flood threat, say something. Contact info for the St. Mary Parish OHSEP and the St. Mary Levee District can be found in the resources below.
- The St. Mary Parish Office of Homeland Security website is http://stmaryohsep.org/ You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
- The St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office website is www.stmaryso.com We also maintain a Facebook and Twitter account.
THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER AT MORGAN CITY DURING THE 2011 HIGH WATER EVENT
St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office
Public Information Officer