Authorities began taking steps to sink a barge in Bayou Chene with the hope it will mean Iberville and nearby parishes are spared from devastating backwater flooding when the Morganza Spillway is opened.

Crews are installing a barge in Bayou Chene - a tributary of the Atchafalaya River which leads into populated areas of Iberville, St. Martin, St. Mary, Terrebonne and Assumption parishes - and sink it, stopping the water flow.

The spillway, if opened, would flood water into the Atchafalaya and down into those parishes, so putting the barge in place is intended to protect those residents from backwater flooding.

The state recently approved $80 million in funding to place a permanent structure at Bayou Chene, but that construction will take several years.

Story: Read more about why they're sinking the barge here