Noticias

With new disturbance in Gulf of Mexico, pumps to kick on again in Ascension

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Buy Now The water churns as a pump runs at the Marvin Braud pumping station Wednesday July 10, 2019, in Sorrento, La. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG
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The water churns as a pump runs at the Marvin Braud pumping station Wednesday July 10, 2019, in Sorrento, La.

Ascension Parish plans to begin drawing down water levels in some bayous and other waterways on the parish's east bank Wednesday morning in preparation for a tropical wave expected to enter the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Parish public works officials said Tuesday the access gates at the Marvin J. Braud Pumping Station in the McElroy Swamp will be closed 8 a.m. Wednesday so pumping can begin.

Parish officials use the pumps to lower water levels before storms hit to build in storage capacity for heavy rainfall and mitigate potential flooding.

In a statement Tuesday, the National Weather Service office in Slidell said that the tropical wave headed into the Gulf has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical system in the next five days.

"Regardless, an enhancement of rain and storm coverage can be expected late-week along with above-normal tides," the statement adds.

The seven pumps at the Marvin Braud station send storm water into the Blind River swamp to the south and east. Officials and residents in next-door Livingston and St. James parishes have often complained the station can worsen their flooding.

The station went back up to full capacity earlier this month after the parish completed a three-month refurbishment of one of the station's original five pumps.

When open, the pump station's gate serves as a boating access way along the New River Canal. When closed, the gate helps somewhat seal off the St. Amant and Gonzales areas and eastern Sorrento from tidal influences and storm surge in Lake Maurepas that can flood lower eastern Ascension.

Once the gate is closed, parish officials then turn on the big station's pumps to drain waterways in the watersheds of Bayou Goudine, Bayou Francois and the New River Canal that are inside the parish's flood protection system and include Gonzales, part of Prairieville, St. Amant and part of Sorrento.

The station's pumps, which sit at the confluence of the New River and Saveiro canals, largely don't affect waterways in the Prairieville, Galvez, Lake, Burnside and Darrow areas, all of which rely more on natural drainage.

Parish officials said crews will also turn on the pumps near the town of Sorrento and at Henderson Bayou as needed, but those stations don't easily allow for proactive pumping efforts as the Marvin Braud station does.

The Sorrento pumping station doesn't move water downstream, as the Marvin Braud pumps do, but handles localized storm water runoff in town that is collected in a man-made reservoir. The pumps move water from the reservoir to Conway Bayou.

In the Henderson Bayou watershed in northeastern Ascension, the parish has a floodgate designed to halt backwater from moving upstream in the bayou from the Amite River. A pumping station also at that gate is designed to be used only when the floodgate is closed and water levels inside the protection system have risen due to rain.

Parish officials urged residents to monitor updates on the Ascension Parish and Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Facebook pages. Residents may also sign up for emergency bulletins using the Ascension Parish Community Alerting System, Everbridge, by going online to http://www.AscensionParish.net.


Buy Now The water churns as a pump runs at the Marvin Braud pumping station Wednesday July 10, 2019, in Sorrento, La. STAFF PHOTO BY BILL FEIG The water churns as a pump runs at the Marvin Braud pumping station Wednesday July 10, 2019, in Sorrento, La. Ascension Parish plans to begin drawing down water levels in some bayous and other waterways on the parish’s east bank Wednesday morning in preparation for a tropical wave expected to enter the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

Parish public works officials said Tuesday the access gates at the Marvin J. Braud Pumping Station in the McElroy Swamp will be closed 8 a.m. Wednesday so pumping can begin.

Parish officials use the pumps to lower water levels before storms hit to build in storage capacity for heavy rainfall and mitigate potential flooding.

In a statement Tuesday, the National Weather Service office in Slidell said that the tropical wave headed into the Gulf has a 40% chance of developing into a tropical system in the next five days.

«Regardless, an enhancement of rain and storm coverage can be expected late-week along with above-normal tides,» the statement adds.

The seven pumps at the Marvin Braud station send storm water into the Blind River swamp to the south and east. Officials and residents in next-door Livingston and St. James parishes have often complained the station can worsen their flooding.

The station went back up to full capacity earlier this month after the parish completed a three-month refurbishment of one of the station’s original five pumps.

When open, the pump station’s gate serves as a boating access way along the New River Canal. When closed, the gate helps somewhat seal off the St. Amant and Gonzales areas and eastern Sorrento from tidal influences and storm surge in Lake Maurepas that can flood lower eastern Ascension.

Once the gate is closed, parish officials then turn on the big station’s pumps to drain waterways in the watersheds of Bayou Goudine, Bayou Francois and the New River Canal that are inside the parish’s flood protection system and include Gonzales, part of Prairieville, St. Amant and part of Sorrento.

The station’s pumps, which sit at the confluence of the New River and Saveiro canals, largely don’t affect waterways in the Prairieville, Galvez, Lake, Burnside and Darrow areas, all of which rely more on natural drainage.

Parish officials said crews will also turn on the pumps near the town of Sorrento and at Henderson Bayou as needed, but those stations don’t easily allow for proactive pumping efforts as the Marvin Braud station does.

The Sorrento pumping station doesn’t move water downstream, as the Marvin Braud pumps do, but handles localized storm water runoff in town that is collected in a man-made reservoir. The pumps move water from the reservoir to Conway Bayou.

In the Henderson Bayou watershed in northeastern Ascension, the parish has a floodgate designed to halt backwater from moving upstream in the bayou from the Amite River. A pumping station also at that gate is designed to be used only when the floodgate is closed and water levels inside the protection system have risen due to rain.

Parish officials urged residents to monitor updates on the Ascension Parish and Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Facebook pages. Residents may also sign up for emergency bulletins using the Ascension Parish Community Alerting System, Everbridge, by going online to http://www.AscensionParish.net .