Ascension Parish government personnel facilitate flood drainage

Staff Report

Ascension Parish Department of Public Works personnel cut into Alligator Bayou Road at Fish Bayou May 28 to facilitate the drainage of flood water from the Spanish Lake and Bluff Swamp basin.

An aerial photo shows Ascension Parish personnel working to facilitate drainage of flood water.

As reported in a parish government news release, much of the 17,000-acre basin had been flooded from recent heavy rains. Flood water at some points were up to 11-feet deep.

Parish President Clint Cointment described the action as a “significant event on a dramatic day” and acknowledged the dedication and commitment of DPW personnel to the safety and protection of Ascension Parish residents and their property.

The cut was at the point where the future Fish Bayou flood control structure will be constructed and will house two 12-foot by 12-foot box culverts with a lock and gate system. 

DPW Director Ron Savoy said crews were operating a total of seven pumps, four 30-inch axle driven pumps, and three 24-inch tractor pumps.

In an earlier news release, parish officials said three pumps were used, each with a discharge capacity of 20,000 gallons per minute. 

Fabrication was completed for an additional three pumps, bringing the potential discharge relief at the pumping site to 120,000 gallons per minute with all six pumps running.

Parish officials have said they were continuously monitoring the river gauges along Bayou Manchac.

Additionally, all waterways in Ascension and Livingston parishes reopened May 28.

A week before, heavy rains dropped as much as 14 inches in less than 24 hours, causing flash flooding and higher waterways.

Boaters are encouraged to be mindful of areas where high water remains, passing structures at idle-only speed, and to also be alert for floating debris and submerged objects.