Sand bags are now available to residents in St. Martin Parish.
The Parish is under a state of emergency because of a potential flood threat along the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers.
St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars says now is the time to be proactive.
“We have the flood level of the river in Morgan City at 6 feet,” Cedars said. “Right now, it’s at 7.3 feet and it’s expected to go up to 7.6 feet by the end of the week.”
Stephensville resident Ivy St. Romain has lived in the area nearly 50 years. He says usually the water does not start rising until closer to June, but the past few years, the water has come up earlier and earlier.
“Once a year, twice a year, we have to deal with high water. The highest its every gotten back here was in 1973,” said St. Romain.
St. Martin Parish is working with its office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to monitor the water levels. In on Stephensville neighborhood, there are pumps to combat any flooding.
Cedars said, “If you get water on your property that threatens your home, that’s major as far as I’m concerned. We want to be proactive and protect our residents and homeowners as best as we can.”
Some residents are already getting sand bags. Randy Deshotel said his property has flooded before, but fortunately, no water has made it inside his home.
“They load up your truck, the guys on this side bag the sand. It’s great! We have to unload and do the rest of it, but hey, you have to do what you have to do,” said Deshotel.
St. Romain on the other hand says he’ll take his chances this year.
“I was telling the wife, we have flood insurance. We’re not doing it. It’s a lot of work. We usually put out 500 bags and then after it’s all done, you have to destroy it. It’s a lot of work both ways,” St. Romain said.
Sand bags will be available seven days a week from 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. until further notice at the Stephensville Park on Hwy., 70 in Stephensville, LA.