$48M Floodgate Going Into Operation in Louisiana

A floodgate designed to insulate portions of Terrebonne Parish from storm surge driven in from the Gulf of Mexico will be dedicated on Wednesday.

The Courier reports the $48 million Bubba Dove Floodgate in the Houma Navigation Canal near Dulac is the linchpin of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf levee system.

Among those expected to attend the ceremonies is state Rep. Gordon Dove, R-Houma. The floodgate is named after Dove’s son, who died in a 2009 car crash.

The 273-foot-long, 60-foot-wide and 42-foot-high barge floodgate is located south of Bayou Grand Caillou.

“This gate represents a massive effort by the citizens of this area to continue to fight for survival,” said Angela Rains, administrative manager of the Terrebonne Levee District.

The Houma Navigation Canal, used by Terrebonne businesses to move platforms and other materials to and from oilfields in the Gulf, originally was designed to a width of 250 feet but is now hundreds of feet wider due to erosion.

The canal runs from Houma to the Gulf and has long been a source of major flooding problems for the Dulac and Dularge communities, which flank the canal.

The floodgate is part of an effort to build a lower-cost interim hurricane protection system that can later be incorporated into the Army Corps of Engineers’ larger Morganza project.

The barge gates are less expensive than the automated floodgates the corps is planning.

Though the barge gates provide the same level of protection, they require more manpower, don’t operate as quickly and aren’t viewed to have the environmental benefits of more-complex gates.