MORGAN CITY — The Coast Guard has established a "temporary safety zone" around Bayou Chene southeast of Morgan City while crews sink a barge to reduce backwater flooding while the Morganza Spillway is open.

Until 6 p.m. Thursday, all mariners must keep a minimum distance of 2 nautical miles from Bayou Chene Light – 4 unless they are authorized to be there by the captain of the port or the captain's representative, the Coast Guard said Wednesday.

The Coast Guard said that, until further notice, the Bayou Boeuf Lock will open to all navigation and be the only east-to-west route between Port Arthur, Texas, to New Orleans.