Will there be a major summer flood in South Louisiana?
Neither NOAA or the Corps of Engineers is forecasting that far out — too many variables, not the least of which would be a drenching tropical storm on top of rivers already at or near flood stage.
(For the Lower Mississippi River forecast go to: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/forecast/esp.shtml.)
Right now the Atchafalaya is going down in Lower St. Martin Parish, which experienced minor flooding in April, but the short term forecast is for a trend back upward.
(For the Atchafalaya River forecast for Morgan City, go to: http://www.srh.noaa.gov/lmrfc/forecast/tributaries/ATCHAFALAYA_BASIN/MCGL1.shtml.)
In his report to the Parish Council on Tuesday, June 17, Parish President Guy Cormier said coping with the April flooding has already cost the parish $150,000.
"In an effort to protect the citizens, we have hauled approximately 105 loads of sand and 51 loads of limestone," Cormier said. "We have also provided approximately 160,000 sandbags to the residents of Lower St. Martin. We also received a bill from the Sheriff's Department for overtime labor associated with sandbagging operations."
Cormier said he has met with state Sen. Troy Hebert and Rep. Fred Mills about preparing an application for reimbursement through in Louisiana Interim Emergency Board in case FEMA doesn't come through.
Parish Councilman Carroll Delahoussaye praised Cormier's administration and for their help in meeting the needs of Lower St. Martin, which he represents, and he thanked his colleagues on the council for their patience in giving up man-hours and equipment which are needed for projects in their districts and which were diverted to deal with the flooding downstream.