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May 6, 2011 9:12 PM by Shawn Kline

Parishes declare State of Emergency

Parishes all over Acadiana, declaring a state of emergency.
St. Landry, St. Martin, Iberia and St. Mary Parishes want residents to be prepared for flooding.

"The high water is definitely coming whether they open (the Morganza) or not." St. Martin Parish President Guy Cormier says, "if I was a resident of Butte LaRose I'd start taking stuff to high ground."

"They're telling us now that it could be a foot, foot and a half more water than in '73," St. Landry Parish President Don Menard said.

Both Menard and Cormier are making preparations for a major flood in their territories for the first time since 1973.

"We're the last ones to fill up, we're the last ones to drain," Cormier said of his parish. "The water tends to stay there a long time."

"I've been on the phone with the Mayor of Krotz Springs," Menard said. "He recalls that water and he says it was pretty high (in 1973) so we're preparing for the worst."

In Iberia parish, the concern isn't about rising water but aging levees.

"We're not expecting any issues." Lt. Ryan Turner of the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office said. "Unless they would have problems with the levee."

"The big issues are really going to be in the southern part of the basin." Iberia Parish President Ernest Freyou says, "around places like Stephensville and Morgan City."

Even where the threat is minimal, sandbags are being filled. Menard and Cormier say those should come in handy in places like Butte LaRose and parts of Krotz Springs, both unprotected by the levee.

"There could be 2,000 people affected," Menard predicted in St. Landry Parish.

"We are going to get high water for sure in Butte LaRose," Cormier said of St. Martin Parish.

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