The Amite River at Bayou Manchac and Port Vincent crested at record-breaking levels Monday morning, but it will take time for the massive amount of water to move through the system.
The National Weather System estimated the crest levels and times for the two Amite River points because of problems reading the gauges. The Bayou Manchac gauge is read manually and it’s not accessible right now due to flooding and the river gauge at Port Vincent went out at about 2 a.m. Monday, said Jeff Grashel, National Weather Service hydrologist.
Even though these areas of the Amite River have hit their highest level, the river still holds enough water to cause tributaries to back up because there is no place for the water to go. The backed up tributaries, which typically empty into the Amite River, are now contributing to the flooding seen throughout East Baton Rouge, Livingston and Ascension parishes.
“All those backwater areas that are playing a big role in the flooding, is the water trying to work its way back into the river,” Grashel said.
The water in the Amite River will need to fall enough to allow all of the water currently flooding around creeks and bayous to get back into the channel and out of the area.