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May 13, 2011 11:46 PM by Maddie Garrett

Businesses on Henderson Lake Prepare for Worst

Businesses in the Atchafalaya Basin are preparing to pack up, head out and suffer significant revenue losses due to flooding. Residents in Henderson should be protected by the levees, but with Henderson Lake waters expected to rise to 29 feet businesses on the other side of the levees will suffer from the floods.

Tucker Friedman spent 12 years building up his family-run shop, bar and boat tour business on Henderson Lake, all to watch his livelihood go under this year.

"It's all going to go you know, doing what we can to save what we can but we're not going to be able to save everything," said Friedman who owns Atchafalaya Basin Landing.

Friedman has already cleared out most of his store and bar with the help of friends and family. After flood waters recede, they plan to tear down the place and start all over.

"Staying in the water for that long of period of time, it'll all be rotten so we'll tear the building down and we're shopping for barges now. The next building will float," said Friedman.

Further down the levee, McGee's Landing owner David Allemond is also prepared for the worst.

"We're going to do whatever it takes to get all the things that mean something to McGee's Landing out of the building in the near future if we have to.... We're survivors," said Allemond.

McGee's Landing sits a little higher than some other businesses on the lake so Allemond hopes to keep his restaurant and swamp tours running for as long as possible.

"We're going to do everything we can to keep their jobs going and to keep our tours going for the people that originally scheduled to come here. We'll work with what we have and we'll do it," said Allemond.

While the losses will hit these owners hard at the register, it's the emotional ties that hurt the most.

"Everybody else being emotional about it, it's hard not to be. I break down every now and then, 12 years of real hard work you know," said Friedman.

With the Morganza Spillway opening Saturday, Friedman will have until Tuesday to clear out. He said he'll still operate part of his businesses out of temporary barge set up near the landing.

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