Executive order closes Amite River and Diversion Canal to recreational boat traffic

Staff reports

Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez signed an executive order this morning closing the Amite River and the Diversion Canal to recreational boat traffic.

“Because Tropical Storm Lee poses a threat to our residents and their property, and in the event emergency crews would need immediate access to our waterways, I have signed this declaration,” President Martinez said. 

Livingston Parish officials signed a similar declaration this morning as well, said Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Rick Webre.

In a teleconference call this morning with state and parish officials, Webre said presently no evacations are taking place, shelters are not open at this time, and there are no reported major damages to parish infrastructure. He also reported no fatalities have occurred as a result of Tropical Storm Lee in Ascension Parish.

Webre said East Ascension Gravity Drainage District No. 1 officials reported that on Thursday night, the flood gates were closed and pumping began on Friday. Drainage officials also reported this morning that water levels inside the levee protection district are at approximately one foot, while gauges outside the district are reading at four feet. He said drainage officials are continuing to monitor all levels.

Drainage officials said in event that back water increases occur, sand and sand bag locations will be made available in those areas.

Ascension Parish Department of Public Works officials said the locations for sand and sand bags remain open. Those locations include the intersection of Hwy. 431, Lake Martin Road and L. Keller Road in the Lake Martin area, the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center, 9039 St. Landry Road, Gonzales, Barns 5 and 6, and at the old pavilion behind the Lemann Center on Thibaut Drive in Donaldsonville.

Officials said residents are advised to bring their own shovels.

Roadway closures in Ascension Parish as of noon, Sunday are:

East Bank - South Summerfield (several areas flooded), Amite River Road (flooded)

West bank - Hwy. 308/Underpass (East Bayou Road), Evangeline Drive, St. Patrick Street.

For more information, residents may visit the parish’s website atwww.ascensionparish.net/ohsep and look in the left column under sand and sand bag information. Or residents may call the Community Information Line at 1-866-380-2303. The phone line will be updated throughout the weekend.