The structure consists of 125 steel gates 28 feet wide, each of which can be lifted by a crane.
The $20 million (in 1950s dollars) floodway includes guide levees to funnel floodwater into the lower Atchafalaya Basin, as much as 25 feet above sea level in some places, according to the Corps.
In addition to camps and a burgeoning community of permanent homes, the flood will impact the operations of over 2,000 oil and gas wells that, according to the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources, produce about 10 percent of state’s onshore production, over 19,000 barrels of oil per day—about 10% of the stat.
As of last week there were 36 rigs drilling on land or inland waters in the floodway.
Interests in the Basin periodically receive notice from the Corps that any infrastructure in the floodway is subject to inundation.