Work will begin soon on floodgates that keep the Red River from backing up into Coushatta during periods of high water. This is a joint project of the Levee Board and the Police Jury. One gate is under the levee in Old Town and the other is south of the courthouse on Highway 480. Their purpose is to allow Nichols Bayou to empty into the Red River. During periods of high water the gates will keep the Red River from flowing back into town.
At the last Police Jury meeting, the Jury agreed to help with the work and equipment to do the job of cleaning out debris that has accumulated over the years. In the event of high water the debris could cause the gates not to close to prevent flooding.
Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness Director, Shane Hubbard said in the past a large balloon was used to plug the gates. Divers would insert the balloon and blow it up to form a plug. But this did not work as well as using the gates themselves.
The Levee Board will secure the funding for the clean out. And then would check the gates for damage. Levee Board President William Waltman told The Journal any necessary repairs will be made to the gates to assure they would function correctly.
The date for the work to start has not been set, however Waltman and Hubbard agree now is a good opportunity because of the low level of the Red River.