LAFITTE, La. -- In the face of prolonged flooding, crews have breached a levee Sunday night in Lafitte.
They may break the levee in two more spots along Bayou Barataria by Monday.
Officials say it will relieve pressure from pumps and helped drain devastated areas of lower Jefferson Parish.
With several feet of water still in some homes, officials say they did what they had to do to bring this area some relief.
In the town of Lafitte, pieces of someone’s life sit in standing water on a front porch. Angela Caruso helped gut the home Sunday morning.
“The floors have been here, the furniture. We still got to go out there and cut about 3 feet up,” she said.
The stench of mold permeates the house. It was rebuilt just seven years ago after it flooded in Rita. And those working to recover from this storm say it’s just another example of why this area needs an adequate levee protection system.
“Kind of explains itself,” Caruso said. “I mean, look at it, they’ve lost everything, you know. And this happens over and over. But these people aren’t leaving. This is their home.”
Lower Jefferson Parish lies outside the new federal levee protection system, and a storm surge means heavy flooding. Five days after Isaac unleashed its slow wrath, hundreds of homes in lower Lafitte still sit in 4 to 5 feet of water - down about 1.5 feet from the height of it all.
“So many people stayed because they saw it was going to be a category 1 storm, didn’t think it would be a big deal,” said Ray Griffin of Cochiara’s Marina. “I did the same thing. I’ve never seen water come up that high.”
Griffin said the amount of water lapping at his businesses’ door was unprecedented. Now he’s among those wondering how many times they can bounce back.
“People in Lafitte are really getting tired of this and we feel like we’re being ignored and no one cares about us,” Griffin said.
Meanwhile, the National Guard passed out ice and water to those in need while the parish installed one of two extra pumps Sunday, trying to do what they can to drain this area while they pray for a future when they don’t have to.
“Yeah, it’s frustrating,” said Mayor Tim Kerner. “It makes you feel like you’re not doing your doggone job, but I can’t help it if the corps actually looks me in the face and promises me that we’re going to get things and we don’t.”
The mayor of Lafitte says state officials have promised they will build better levee protection around this area with help from BP's fines for the oil spill. No word, though, on when that could happen.