The levees around the spillways are vital for flood control, but they are not permanent. They get worn down over time by water, but that process can speed up if people drive on them. The Advocate reports on a levee that is starting to slide in the Atchafalaya Basin.
The west levee is starting to slide according to the Corps of Engineers. The slide is near Charenton Beach Road. So far, it does not pose a threat but river levels are rising fast. The slide has been under monitoring since October.
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This levee keeps the Atchafalaya River from flooding. The Corps reinspected the slide after the level of the river rose to a height that required reinspection by regulations. Unfortunately, with the rising water the Corps cannot repair the levee should the slide get worse. The extra water would raise the chances of breakage.
The Corps is confident that the levee will hold but issued a warning that driving on the levees is prohibited and will lead to arrest. Mud riders like to drive on them for the challenge, but it causes erosion.
We hope that the water level drops soon and that no one tries to drive on the levees during this dangerous time.