BUTTE LAROSE, HAPPY TOWN—The Atchafalaya River is expected to crest tomorrow in Butte LaRose. So far at least 35 structures are taking on water, but as WGNO's Vanessa Bolano tells us, what's expected over the next two weeks may keep residents out of their house for much longer.
At least nature is enjoying all this water in Butte LaRose. For others it's forced them out, and now there's no idea when a mandatory evacuation order will be lifted.
"This didn't come over night and it's not going to go away quick."
Terry Guidry with St Martin Parish Homeland Security says the Atchafalaya River will crest Saturday at just over 23 feet, less than an inch higher from where it's at now, but backwaters need to catch up.
"Given enough time this area here wants to be level with the river" and that area now has about 18-and-a-half-feet of water, meaning there's still several feet of catching up to do.
On one of the lowest spots of the community, Herman Dupuis Road, the water is already crossing the road and it's estimated to be about 5-feet high in 10 days.
Homes on the river, outside flood protection are taking on water and many are impossible to get to by vehicle. On the backside, several are taking on water and what's expected over the next two weeks could make waters reach hundreds more.
Down the street from Butte LaRose in Happy Town an eerie welcome sign greets no one now that no one can get in. Saturday was the last time residents were allowed in to Happy Town and it may be a while before they're allowed back. The only road in and now it's eroding.
Parish crews ask for patience from residents of both communities. They say it's a blessing the river didn't crest at 29-feet, a level once deemed realistic and devastating, but even now it'll be some time before everything is back to normal.