Mandatory evacuation ordered along river near New Orleans

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WWL-TV

Posted on September 1, 2012 at 5:08 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 1 at 8:12 PM

Evacuation order

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NEW ORLEANS — The St. Tammany Parish Emergency Operations Center called for the immediate and mandatory evacuation of an area between Locks 1 and 2 on the Pearl River Diversion Canal and South to highway 36 between Bush and Hickory.

"Failure of Lock 2 is imminent," said a statement from the EOC.

About two hours later, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said the overtopping and erosion of Lock 2 has stopped because the parish has opened a valve to release pressure.

The area under the evacuation order covers Bush to the north, Hickory to the south and east of Highway 41, according to Suzanne Parsons, the public information officer for St. Tammany Parish.

Ashley Rodrigue reported that the situation does not involve any type of lock malfunction or failure, but rather stems from a rising Pearl River, which isn't expected to crest until Sunday or Monday.

Officials said the river is high and rising, and is putting pressure on the sides of the walls that hold the lock in place.

They said there is an erosion situation on the sides of the locks.

Every road coming off of Highway 41 toward the diversion canal has blockades to prevent people from heading into the properties and to insure that people who live in there come out.

Rodrigue said boats were being positioned in case they are needed.

The area covers Bush to the north, Hickory to the south and east of Highway 41, according to Suzanne Parsons, the public information officer for St. Tammany Parish.

The area is about 35 miles northeast of New Orleans.

Hurricane Isaac has claimed seven lives, and more than 400,000 people were still without power on Saturday.

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