As I write this late Sunday, it appears very likely that the Corps of Engineers will order the opening of the Morganza Spillway later during the week in order to reduce the flow of the Mississippi River past Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
This will have a significant impact on St. Martin Parish residents in the Butte La Rose community and Stephensville/Belle River area in lower St. Martin. Also feeling the effect will be those boat landings and businesses along the east side of the West Atchafalaya Protection Levee along Henderson Lake.
I well recall the rising water that hit the Butte La Rose area hard back in 1973 when portions of the road between the pontoon bridge and the Atchafalaya River landing were under water, along with a number of camps/homes along the route.
But given current weather forecasts, I don’t expect that areas of the parish on the outside of the Atchafalaya Basin will be threatened as they were 38 years ago.
Those old enough to remember the high water of 1973 should recall that the rising Mississippi coincided with very heavy rainfall here in Louisiana.
A large portion of heavy rains that fall upon Avoyelles and northern St. Landry parishes normally drains into the Atchafalaya Basin through structures at Courtableau. But when the Morganza Spillway is open, diverting almost half of the Mississippi’s flow into the Basin, that drainage outlet is blocked and any rainfall runoff is diverted down along the west side of the levee right to Henderson, Catahoula and Lake Dauterive and Fausse Pointe.
And that’s what caused major problems for those communities back in ’73. Our area was drenched with heavy rains for several weeks during the spring of 1973 and that caused drainage canals and streams to back up and flood low lying areas.
But officials have already advised folks in Butte La Rose and Stephensville/Belle River to begin moving what valuables they can to safer locations as a precaution.
By this time next week we’ll have a better handle on just how bad things might get.
DISTRICT 96 RACE . . .
It appears that St. Martin Parish will have at least two candidates in the race for state representative from the “new” District 96.
Former St. Martinville mayor Eric Martin announced his candidacy at a town hall meeting here on April 28 and St. Martin School Board member Richard Potier of Breaux Bridge told fellow board members last week that he is running.
District 96 is a majority minority district with 58 percent black residents. It includes portions of St. Martin, Lafayette and Iberia parishes, with St. Martin making up about 36 percent of the district’s population. Iberia has the lion’s share at 44 percent, while Lafayette makes up 22 percent.
I expect a crowded field, as it’s pretty certain that there will be several candidates from the other two parishes and, perhaps, even at least one more from St. Martin.
It will be an interesting race.
THIS & THAT . . .
Festival Fun – I didn’t make it out to the Crawfish Festival this past weekend. But our reporter Sally Angelle won the women’s division of the Crawfish Eating Contest and son Gerard was an also-ran in the men’s division.
They tell me there was a huge crowd at the festival Friday night, but Saturday was not quite so busy.
The festival was blessed with excellent weather and I’m sure it was an overall success. Congratulations to all the hard working volunteers who helped state the world famous event
Anniversaries – Friends and subscribers who celebrated wedding anniversaries during the past week included:
May 5 – The 22nd anniversary for David and Chante Denaille of St. Martinville.
May 7 – The 7th for Brad and Mindi Courville of Loreauville.
May 8 – The 46th for Mike and Leslie (Martin) Formeller of St. Martinville; and also the 46th for Gus and Pris Guidry of Breaux Bridge.
May 9 – The 14th for Norris and Dianna Courville of Breaux Bridge; and the 13th for Nicholas and Teesha Gary of St. Martinville.
May 10 – The 53rd for Millard and Rowena (Flynn) Bienvenu of Natchitoches; the 37th for L.J. and Connie Latiolais of St. Martinville; the 26th for John and Miranda (Guidry) Thevenet of Parks; and the 9th for Leroy and Monique (Bienvenu) Domino of League City, Texas.
New subscribers who have joined our family of readers in recent weeks include Richard Badeaux, Vaness Boyance and Barbara Borel, all of St. Martinville; Ricky and Kayla Garritt and Laura Huval of Breaux Bridge; Lisa Bergeron of Broussard; Percy Thibodeaux of Arnaudville; Bernice Guilbeau of Lafayette; and Rev. Johnathan Bost of Pennington, Ala.
Clair comme le jour: You’re never too old to learn something stupid. –Anonymous