Cointment gets proactive on New River Drainage Project

The water level in Smith Bayou was 3 feet below New River on June 9.

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment is not wasting any time in getting new drainage projects off the drawing board and into production. His latest proactive initiative is to begin installing flood valves in New River Bayou, which will help to relieve high water in New River and Grand Goudine Bayou.

“We are looking at drainage with a regional eye,” said President Cointment. “This project ties into Morgan Swamp, which helps to drain Bluff Swamp, and also will help Prairieville and all the areas drained by the Goudine.”

One of the gate valves to be installed in the weir on New River at Smith Bayou

The valves are being installed at the weir connecting New River Bayou to Smith Bayou…

just west of Gonzales. When waters rise in the northern waterways, the valves can be opened to allow more water to drain to the south.

An added bonus will be to lower water surface elevations prior to storm events, similar to what is done now with the Marvin Braud Pumping Station. This action will add additional capacity for rain events in New River, all 3 branches of the Goudine, and all supporting drainage ditches within the Marvin Braud Basin north of the weirs.

“Due to the record rainfall in 2021, I feel action must be taken today, before any tropical storms and any future rain events,” said President Cointment.

He assured the public that no one in the Marvin Braud drainage basin will be negatively impacted.

An examination of the weir on June 9 showed water levels in New River about three feet higher than in Smith Bayou…

The weir on west New River at Smith Bayou

which has plenty of capacity to accept more water. This project, coupled with the planned future dredging of New River, will be “one more tool” to get storm water out of the parish faster and, hopefully, prevent flooding before it happens.