Ascension Parish waterways to close at noon today

Staff Report

All Ascension Parish waterways and boat launches will close at noon today because of high water levels caused by recent heavy rains. The closures have been coordinated with Livingston Parish.

Ascension Parish waterways will close at noon today.

Parish President Clint Cointment and his administration have been developing guidelines to uniformly address high-water situations. He stated that he and the Ascension Waterways Commission have promulgated a formal set of guidelines that will be presented to the Ascension Parish Council for adoption as an ordinance.

“As the population has grown along the Amite / Blind River basin over the years, there have been situations arise where high-water events have threatened life and property,” Cointment said. “By developing these guidelines, we will eliminate the guesswork and confusion about waterway closures.”

When the river gauge at Port Vincent reaches four feet or the river gauge at French Settlement reaches three feet, the waterways will be determined to be a minor to moderate threat to properties lying along the shoreline, and it shall be ordered that all vessels traversing along any waterway in this parish will do so at Idle only speed when passing any physically man-made structure along the shoreline, until such time as the river gauge falls below four feet at Port Vincent or three feet at French Settlement.

When the river gauge at Port Vincent reaches six feet or the river gauge at French Settlement reaches 3.6 feet, the waterways automatically will close to all recreational traffic and river travel for recreational purposes will be halted until the river gauge falls below six feet at Port Vincent or 3.6 feet at French Settlement.

The guidelines, when adopted, will be added to the existing No Wake Zone ordinance.

“An ordinance will put some teeth in our enforcement efforts,” Cointment said.