St. Martin

May 5, 2011 11:09 PM by Maddie Garrett

Some Towns Won't Have Levees' Protection from Floods

Levees will likely keep most of the rising Mississippi waters at bay. But some smaller towns in south Louisiana don't have those protections and are most at risk.

Water levels are expected to rise nearly 9 and a half feet in the atchafalaya basin in the coming week, the highest since the floods in the 1970s. And people down in Stephensville remember the floods all too well, and are now getting ready for round two.

"Well I remember everyone traveling by boats just trying to get to their house, and people panicking about finding groceries and trying to get the old people out of their homes," said Danny Acosta.

Danny Acosta is a lifelong resident of Stephensville. He was just a kid the last time his picturesque town was overrun with water. And now he and his wife Marcie Acosta must deal with the threat of flooding again.

"We got water on this side and we got water on that side and everybody has water all around them, so it's coming from all directions," said Marcie.

Meanwhile his cousin Ray Acosta is across town filling sand bags. Ray said he'll fill about a thousand sandbags just to protect his and others' property. Ray even built his own levee in his back yard to protect his home from flooding.

"A lot of people's worrying, panicking, but what people need to do is get prepared," said Ray.

For these families it's much like getting ready for a hurricane -- stock up on supplies, protect your property and be ready to leave if waters rise too high.

"You always have to be prepared for the worst. They need to start lifting up their lawn mowers and getting things set up to where if they have to leave they can save a lot of their stuff," said Ray.

Residents in Stephensville and surrounding areas now have their eyes focused on the Morganza Spillway. If the Army Corps of Engineers opens the Morganza to reduce flooding along the Mississippi, that water will flow into the Atchafalaya, flooding low lying areas and cities like Stephensville.

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