Iberville Parish favored in Alligator Bayou case

PAM BOESCH Correspondent

Judge Thomas Kleibert, Jr. of the 23rd Judicial District ruled in favor of Iberville Parish in a case filed by the owners Alligator Bayou Swamp Tours, Spanish Lake Wildlife Refuge and Botanical Gardens, Inc. recently.

The lawsuit was filed over opening of the Alligator Bayou floodgate to Bayou Manchac in March of 2009 to maximize water flow and avoid flooding areas of east Iberville.

Both companies sued Iberville and Ascension Parishes because the action lowered the water level in Alligator Bayou and it could no longer float its pontoon tour boat. 

The ruling by Kleibert stated that it was the parishes’ duty to protect its citizens from flooding, as supported by its authority to regulate drainage. 

He also stated that his ruling was directly related to drainage and flood prevention control and that Alligator Bayou Swamp Tours was in clear conflict with the parish’s duty to its citizens, as well as prohibition of the obstruction of a natural bayou or public drainage.