HENDERSON — With Nicholas making landfall on Tuesday, officials in St. Martin Parish told KATC they had time to prepare.
Henderson Mayor Sherbin Collette said this was because the area didn't experience a torrential downpour. Collette, however, mentioned that in any rain event, the first priority is always ensuring the safety of residents and their homes.
"We all in the same boat here," Collette said. "All of the parishes in our area, most of the villages in the town of Henderson is actually built on, at one point in time, it was the Atchafalaya Basin so we have lower-lying areas that we have to worry about."
Collette noted that one of the major areas to experience flash flooding during times of inclement weather is that of Highway 347 in Henderson. Mike DeSelle, ADA of Engineering for DOTD, echoes this statement.
"You know when we have a rain event coming, significant rain event like this one, we make preparations for areas that we know have a high potential flooding," DeSelle said. "LA 347 in Henderson is one of those situations."
DOTD crew members spent much of the day on Tuesday pumping water from the 347 in between the roundabouts. Crew members said they make sure to do so approximately every 20 minutes to ensure safe conditions for drivers. They told KATC the water is then redirected to the local bayou system, where the crew also makes sure to monitor water levels to prevent potential bayou overflow.
DeSelle noted that there are some places that DOTD workers cannot get pumps to, but that this is more affected by the intensity of the rain than the ability of DOTD to make sure it doesn't flood.
"We ask the traveling public if you approach a route where you see it's flooded, that you try not to go through it," DeSelle said. "Especially if you can't see the lane lines - if you can't see the lane lines or the center lines, please do not even try to go through it."
Mayor Collette told KATC that he and his team consistently keep track of not only Nicholas, but the rest of the Gulf to make sure that the community stays steps ahead of any storm. Looking back, he said that Henderson and the surrounding areas have been lucky through the past few storms.
"I tell you one thing," Collette said. "In this area, a lot of people pray, and it looks like the prayers have been working."
Stay in touch with us anytime, anywhere.
To reach the newsroom or report a typo/correction, click HERE.
Sign up for newsletters emailed to your inbox. Select from these options: Breaking News, Evening News Headlines, Latest COVID-19 Headlines, Morning News Headlines, Special Offers