Vidalia to receive equipment to keep floodwaters from backing up on riverfront

Published 12:14 am Monday, June 19, 2017


VIDALIA — At no cost to the Town of Vidalia, the town’s riverfront is set to receive a permanent gate and pump system designed to keep the river off of Front Street.

The Louisiana Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is paying for the $318,476 system, for which the Vidalia Board of Aldermen awarded a construction contract to Camo Construction of Vidalia Tuesday. Front Street runs along the Vidalia riverfront.

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Instead of having to bring in pumps and other items to control the flooding, Mayor Buz Craft said the system to be installed would be more efficient.

“If the river is up, we will have the power to move water off the Riverfront,” Craft said. “We will also be able to manually control it and handle rain water.”

Bryant Hammett & Associates engineer Keith Capdepon said the system should be able to handle most storms. For example, Capdepon said it would have handled this year’s Mississippi River crest, which was more than 7 feet above flood stage.

“You get to a point where all bets are off, but it would have taken care of this year,” Capdepon said.

Capdepon said he did not have readily available at which point above flood stage the system would need additional support.

Capdepon said as long as the town did not receive a 100-year level rainstorm, the system should be able to pump out the rainwater.

Bryant Hammett & Associates engineer Guy Murray said the system would be mostly underground. The only thing above ground would be the control monitors.

“When we experience a high-water event like this past month, we will be able to isolate the riverfront from the river,” Murray said. “We can isolate it with the gates and pump out the rain water with the permanent pumps.”