Lafitte keeps weary eye on Tropical Storm Lee

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 2, 2011 at 10:24 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 2 at 10:42 PM

Tania Dall / Eyewitness News

LAFITTE, La. -- Right next door to Joseph and Elena Foret's home, crews worked through the steady rain to put up a tiger dam.

"They're expecting it to get high,” Joseph Foret said. "All that washout from the Gulf, the water comes up faster, so we leave if we have to."

The threat in Lafitte, besides the heavy rain, is the coastal tidal surge. That's why 25,000 feet of tiger dams owned by Jefferson Parish are being sent to the city.

"We're here in Lafitte, we're bringing sandbags down. We're looking at putting some rocks up. We're putting up tiger dams,” said Jefferson Parish President John Young.

Each one of these tiger dams are the equivalent of 500 sandbags, and they're being placed here in Lafitte to curb potential flooding.

Joseph Foret is no stranger to flooding, and to prepare he's locked up anything that might get water-logged or float away.

At City Hall, Young talked about an action plan: besides deploying sandbags and tiger dams, pump stations will be working overtime across the parish.

“The pump operators have been activated since yesterday on a 24/7 basis,” he said. “They won't be leaving the pump stations, so they'll be working two shifts. So they'll be working around the clock until the end of the event."

There were mixed emotions for David Volion as crews piled sandbags just feet away from the front door of his restaurant, Voleo’s Restaurant.

"A hurricane is okay. It's these tropical storms and depressions that get us,” Volion said. “I feel good they're out here, but it makes you worried the worse is coming for you.”

The worst has hit Volion’s restaurant in the past. During hurricanes Ike and Rita, 3 feet of water flooded this Lafitte business, and it took months to bounce back.

"I don't know if I can get flooded again and open back up again,” Volion said. “It would be kind of foolish to be honest with you."

As Tropical Storm Lee inches closer, Volion can only hope for the best. And if these sandbags can't hold back the flood, it'll be time to go.

“See the water coming up too much, I'm just going to get my trailer and start loading everything up,” he said. “That's usually the plan." Jefferson Parish says, so far, a total of 16,000 sand bags have been transported to Lafitte.

 

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