Teri Casso named chair of East Ascension Drainage, Dempsey Lambert vice chair

Michael Tortorich
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Teri Casso, a member of the Ascension Parish Council, is shown in a file photo.

The East Ascension Drainage Board selected Teri Casso, the District 8 member of the Ascension Parish Council, to serve as chair during the meeting held Jan. 10 in Gonzales.

"I appreciate the opportunity to chair Drainage," Casso said. "It's not been something I've done in my now 12th year in my work with Ascension Parish. I've got a big seat to fill, standing on big shoulders here in following Chase (Melancon), Dempsey (Lambert), and others over the years who have been the Drainage chairman. I'm very grateful for the opportunity. We do have goals for this year, and I look forward to those. We're going to accomplish almost all of them."

In a file photo, Dempsey Lambert is shown at left. Shown at right is John Cagnolatti during a meeting at the courthouse in Donaldsonville.

Dempsey Lambert, the District 5 member of the council, was chosen to serve as vice chair.

"Thank y'all so much," Lambert said. "I appreciate everyone. Looking forward to a good year. Ready to go to work. Thank y'all."

Marvin Braud Pump Station update

After a reported fire at the Marvin Braud Pump Station, Assistant Drainage Director and Operations Manager Ron Savoy gave a detailed presentation on the incident, which led to further discussion about procedures and prevention of future issues.

The pump station controls flooding for much of the parish, including the Gonzales, St. Amant, Sorrento, Prairieville, and Geismar areas.

According to the report, the fire happened Dec. 30 while four crew members were on site. Three employees were at the station when the fire occurred. The mechanic of the crew was sent to Henderson Bayou Pump Station to troubleshoot an issue at the time.

The operator noticed one of the engines had smoke coming from the clutch. Another engine reportedly was having issues at the same time.

The Marvin Braud Pump Station is shown in a photo shared by Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment.

The staff alerted management, who then immediately notified the fire chief.

The fire department arrived around 12:12 p.m. and the fire was extinguished a few minutes later. No one was injured.

About 12:30 p.m. the station gates were opened, and gravity drainage restored until damage assessment was complete.

Savoy said a thorough fact-finding effort was performed to make the best decisions possible to get the station back to capacity.

The cause of the fire was due to a drop in air pressure, according to Savoy's report.

Gonzales Weekly Citizen and Donaldsonville Chief, part of the USA Today Network of Louisiana, cover Ascension Parish and the greater Baton Rouge area. Follow at facebook.com/WeeklyCitizen and facebook.com/DonaldsonvilleChief.