Lake Concordia too high for traffic

Published 12:16 am Thursday, February 14, 2013

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Jared McCarty carries two two-by-four's to the end of a new dock he’s building on Lake Concordia on Wednesday afternoon behind a house on Lakeshore Drive just outside of Ferriday. Lake Concordia is currently closed to boat traffic because of high water.

FERRIDAY — Lake Concordia has been closed to all boat traffic until further notice after heavy rainfall and water backing up from Cocodrie Bayou brought lake levels to 49.5 feet — one foot above pool stage.

Concordia Parish Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick advised that Lake St. John remained open for traffic, but suggested boaters stay in the middle of the lake and travel slowly to not create wakes.

Johnny Patrick, a member of the Lake Concordia committee, said the tops of several piers on the lake are submerged and any boat traffic could be dangerous to homeowners and boaters.

JAY SOWERS | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Lake Concordia is currently closed to boat traffic due to high water, prompting owners to hang caution tape across the boat ramp near the Sportsman's Lodge.

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The estimated six inches of rainfall in the past week piled on top of already high water levels resulting in water from Cocodrie Bayou backing up into the lake, Patrick said.

“When Cocodrie backed up that’s what really put us over the top,” Patrick said. “It’s certainly not as high as it was last month with those heavy rains, but closing the lakes is a good precaution to help save some piers.”

The boat traffic ban helps boaters to avoid striking piers as well as homeowners who could see more damage from the wakes.

Patrick said the water is an estimated one-foot above the normal pool stage of 48.5 feet — bringing the total to 49.5 feet.

A mostly clear and sunny seven-day forecast by the National Weather Service is exactly what the area needs, Patrick said.

“Hopefully, if we get plenty of sunshine and no more rain the lake won’t have to be closed longer than a week,” Patrick said. “Once that sunshine comes in, nature will take its course.”