St. John The Baptist Parish News Release

Mississippi River Levee Update 3

Mississippi River Levee Update 3

Wednesday, May 11 – 7:00 pm

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – Today, Wednesday, May 11, 2011, Parish President Natalie Robottom declared a State of Emergency for St. John the Baptist Parish. This declaration is precautionary in nature, but allows parish officials the ability to access all necessary resources available, should they be needed. Top administrative staff from the Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Sheriff’s Office are in daily communications with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, the Ponchatrain Levee District, and the Lafourche Basin Levee District monitoring the river water levels.

As of today, the river gauge in the Mississippi River at Reserve indicated a water level of 23.7 feet. Currently, there is NO FLOODING IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS in Reserve, but there is flooding within the levee system. The only areas impacted by the current flood stage are marine and industrial sites along the river. The current forecast suggests the river will crest at 28 feet on May 23, if the Morganza Spillway is not opened.

Levee inspection teams from the Ponchatrain Levee District, the Lafourche Basin Levee District and Sheriff’s deputies are patrolling the levees looking for deficiencies, seepage, and prohibited digging within 1,500 feet of the levees. Unauthorized vehicles are prohibited on the levees.

Please be reminded of the US Corps of Engineers’ Restrictions:

  • No digging activity and/or subsurface work of any kind is allowed within 1,500 feet of the levee centerline. This includes, but is not limited to pile driving, excavation and trenching.
  • Driving on the river levees is prohibited.
  • Biking and walking on the levee are discouraged at this time due to safety concerns.

Thank you for your cooperation. Please stay tuned to Channel 15, St. John the Baptist Parish website, and the news media for updates.