Rain from Tropical Storm Barry delays Vernon Lake repairs

VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development said that Vernon Lake was nearly at a safe enough level to continue repairs back in April, but consistent rain has put them behind schedule. Now, with heavy rain in the forecast from Tropical Storm Barry, those repairs will have to wait.

Vernon Lake repairs on hold with the threat of heavy rain from Tropical Storm Barry. | Photo Source: KALB

It’s been two years since Tropical Storm Harvey nearly overwhelmed Vernon Lake. Since then, it’s been drawn down for repairs. Jason Nolde, chairman of the Vernon Game and Fish Commission, said the level needed to drop just another foot before work could continue.

“You’ve got the spillway, and then a few hundred feet down the levee or embankment, you have the drawdown structure. Halfway in between those, you have an area that is 200 or so feet long. The embankment actually separated and sluiced down. When you’re looking at probably close on one-third of the embankment has moved, it was definitely a concern and worth watching,” he said.

Nolde said he understands the frustrations of residents and landowners. On the bright side, Nolde said people can look forward to better fishing and an improved lake experience.

“On the north end of our lake, we don’t have a lot of public access," he said. "So, the police jury either has issued or is getting ready to issue, a contract to have a brand new boat launch.”

Parish officials are not expecting severe flooding in this area.

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