State Agency Flood Fighting Continues in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE (May 26, 2011)
State agencies continue their efforts to fight and prepare for flooding in communities across Louisiana. Updates from individual agencies are below.
FLOOD FIGHTING EFFORTS
In support of State and Parish requirements, the Louisiana National Guard has 1,150 Guardsmen mobilized for this emergency.
In support of St. Mary Parish, the Guard is transporting 10,000 LF of Tiger Dam materials today from Lockport in Lafourche Parish to Amelia. The National Guard also is providing aviation support to the Red River Levee District to assess levees and backwater flooding in Avoyelles and St. Landry Parish. Guard aviation crews are also supporting USACE to assess levees in Northeast Louisiana. In Northeast Louisiana, the National Guard continues to support the 5th levee district by performing sandbag hauling missions using 3 rapid-transport systems.
To date, DOTD has delivered 39,452 cubic yards of sand, and 276,050 sandbags across the state in support of flood protection efforts.
Bonnet Carre Spillway
Because of rising floodwaters, many animals have been displaced from their normal habitats. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has 205 enforcement agents and 26 wildlife staff on duty and they staged a Mobile Command Unit in Krotz Springs, in addition to deploying 103 all terrain vehicles and two amphibious airplanes. From the Arkansas state line to the Concordia Parish line, LDWF enforcement agents made 73 contacts and issued eight verbal warnings while on levee patrol on Wednesday.
In St. Martin Parish, LDWF has closed all boat traffic beginning 6 a.m., May 26 for a four-mile long stretch in the Atchafalaya Basin. The closure area is from the Henderson levee on the west side to the Butte La Rose levee on the east side. The width of the closure is from the Interstate 10 Bridge on the south side to a line half a mile north of the bridge on the north side. Agents started patrolling the closure area 24 hours a day with two boats and four agents.
The elevated water in the area has put the Entergy high voltage electrical transmission lines at an expected dangerous clearance level of seven feet for boat traffic. In order to avoid de-energizing the lines that would result in loss of electricity to many citizens and the Butte La Rose Welcome Center, LDWF decided to restrict boat traffic.
LDWF continues to track and respond to reports of wildlife as necessary. In total, there have been fifteen reported bear sightings. The Louisiana Black Bear remains on the threatened and endangered species list. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, LDWF asks the public call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.
For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:
DOC offender crews are working sandbagging details in the following parishes: Tensas, Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Assumption. Offender crews have filled/placed more than 516,000 sandbags to date.
Department of Health and Hospitals
Morgan City Health Care Center completed transferring 18 of its residents with higher care needs to its sister facility, Franklin Health Care Center as of May 25, 2011. The evacuation began Tuesday as a precautionary measure. Sixty residents remain at the Morgan City Health Care Center.