Quick reaction by the President Pat Briter saved 1,200 homes from being hit by a 40 to 50 foot wave of water.
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/13/2012 -- St. Tammany Parish authorities evacuated nearly 1,200 homes in the rural community of Bush and Hickory on Saturday afternoon within two hours time. It was believed that Lock2, which is located south of Bogalusa near the Bush community on the Pearl River Navigational Canal was about to fail and as a result there would have been a 40 to 50 foot wave of water crashing down on these 1200 homes. It was also expected that this incident would also have flooded homes on Louisiana Highways 36 and 41.
But this incident didn’t take place as a result of the quick actions that were taken by the Parish President Pat Brister.
The investigation began early Saturday afternoon, when President Pat Brister heard a rumor from a resident who called and reported that the locks are failing and that he is evacuating along with his family. After hearing this Barister visited the place herself and determined that the resident was right.
She then, immediately assembled security personnel to the reported location and began work on the right solution for the situation.
Briter called Peabody for the permission to cut the leading locks to Lock 2, which would allow the parish worker to access Lock 2. As a result of the permission granted to four of the valves, two on each side were opened and the water level began to drop and the canal stabilized. After 30 minutes St. Tammany Parish was told by an employee of Vicksburg, that the entity who owns the lock was told to replace the valve because removing it might cause damage to locks themselves.
As soon as the valves were replaced the water level again rose and then Brister got in contact with Peabody again who this time gave her a written permission to remove the valves.
By the time the threat was reduced, the residents were allowed to return to their homes and advised to remain alert and keep monitoring the parish website and the local media.
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