NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana National Guard will be conducting a Disaster Response Exercise within a portion of the Bonnet Carré Spillway on Saturday, March 31, 2012. This exercise will necessitate the closure of the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) riding trails for the public on that day. In addition, the St. Charles Parish Recreation Area within the Spillway will also be closed due to the exercise, but the public will be allowed to view the exercise within a designated area near U.S. Highway 61 (E. Airline Highway).
This marks the first time in three years the Disaster Response Exercise has been held at the Bonnet Carré Spillway. The Deepwater Horizon incident in 2010 and the operation of the Spillway control structure during the spring flood of 2011 disrupted those year’s scheduled exercises. The exercise, held by the Louisiana National Guard in conjunction with a host of other state agencies, allows the state to prepare for any potential hurricanes or other emergencies with mock search and rescue operations, emergency infrastructure repair and construction exercises, and sandbag placement operations.
The parish recreation area and ATV trails, located in the Spillway near E. Airline Highway, will be closed beginning that day at 7 a.m. They will reopen at the conclusion of the response exercise, scheduled for later that afternoon. No exact time has been set for their reopening.
Release no. 12-017