Dial Dalfred: St. Mary levee slide

Dial Dalfred

ST. MARY PARISH, La. (KLFY) – A major barrier that separates a St. Mary Parish community from the Atchafalaya River has a flaw that if not treated—combined with a record-setting rain event, could send thousands of gallons of water in places it shouldn’t be.
We’re getting answers in tonight’s Dial Dalfred report.

“We have a levee slide here. It’s a couple hundred feet or so long.”

A portion of the West Atchafalaya Basis Levee began to slide in October of 2019.

Since then, the St. Mary Parish Levee District and the Army Corps of Engineers have been watching it closely.

“It’s not considered to be a critical issue. It’s not something that means the whole levee is going to fail or anything along those lines,” Tim Matte, executive director of the St. Mary Parish Levee District says.

One thing that causes these levee slides is during a drought season or just a period of time when the levee doesn’t see much rain, the dirt dries up and forms cracks. When there finally is rain the water seeps into those cracks and washes the dirt down the levee.

A social media post was shared with us about the levee slide, and people, naturally, want to know when it’ll be fixed, especially with the water in the basin as high as it is.

“We don’t see that there is an imminent threat here. We’re going to watch that river level and the higher it gets the more critical the timing might be” Matte said.

With this slide being one of many along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers, the Corps hasn’t confirmed a date for permanent repair, but should there be a flood threat, Matte told News 10 there would also be the opportunity to do some interim measures that would protect this particular, area with a permanent repair to come at some other point in time.

A temporary fix could involve a unique sandbag type of system or even concrete.

The permanent repair means digging out the affected area, finding or even creating a solid foundation, then compacting and adding several layers until the levee reaches its full elevation.

If there’s an ongoing issue in your neighborhood or community or there’s a story you’d like me to investigate, send me an email at DialDalfred@klfy.com.

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