Posted: May 9, 2011 1:00 PM by Rob Perillo
Updated: May 9, 2011 1:41 PM
There are three kinds of major flooding that can inundate Acadiana with water: flooding from local heavy rains, storm surges from Gulf of Mexico tropical systems, and then flooding from rising waters from our large rivers that are water sheds from somewhere else. Occasionally we see a combination of at least two.
This time around it will be the "Big Rivers".
Although the details of the impending flooding of the Mississippi and the Atchafalaya Rivers remain unclear, it appears that the river flooding in Acadiana's eastern parishes will be the worst of our generation.
Thousands of camps, homes and businesses will be flooded from Point Coupee Parish southward through St Landry, St Martin, Iberia, St Mary and Terrebonne Parishes from the Atchafalaya River Basin alone.
Low lying areas unprotected by levees will flood, including 1000's of acres of farm land that will likely result in at least tens of millions of dollars in losses.
This flood will be limited to "river-vulnerable" communities and will not flood locations in New Iberia, Lafayette and westward; the rest of Acadiana will just ironically continue to suffer through a very bad drought.
As for specific homes, camps and communities it is very nearly impossible to predict who will flood and who won't.
The forecast will be a challenging combination of meteorological and hydrological prediction, understanding whether the river forecast models take into account latest river silting and flows properly, and then there are geographical and geopolitical considerations.
The bottom line is that if it flooded in 1973, it will likely flood this time around, and there are strong indicators that it will likely be worse.