East Baton Rouge officials filed a lawsuit Friday against Iberville Parish over the deployment of its aquadams, WBRZ-TV reports, raising concerns that the dams could push flood waters towards Baton Rouge.
Iberville Parish President Mitch Ourso, with Tropical Storm Barry taking aim at the region, decided to utilize the aquadams Thursday night.
Last year, a spokesman for the United States Army Corps of Engineers said Iberville Parish didn’t need a permit to operate aquadams in the event of a flood because they would be placed on a parish road and not in the wetlands or a waterway, adding the federal agency doesn’t get involved in parish to parish disputes.
The three miles of aqua dams cover parts of Alligator Bayou Road in Ascension Parish and Manchac Road in Iberville Parish. Ourso said last year the hope was to keep the water in its channel.
“I don’t want any harm on Baton Rouge residents, but in the same breath, I have to protect my people,” Ourso said. “Hopefully everything fairs out well.”