BELLE CHASSE, La.-- With miles of Plaquemines Parish now under several feet of water, intentional breaching of the parish's back is now underway.
"Those marsh buggies that just passed are going down to go cut the levee on the west bank and we have two machines headed to the east bank," said Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser. "We will cut the levee in as many as 10 spots one each side, to get that water out as quickly as possible."
It is a complex process that involves not just cutting the levees to let the water drain out, but also patching them up before high tide pushes more water in.
"It is just unconscionable that storm after storm, season after season, that hundreds if not thousands of people, who live in cities, in urban and suburban areas, as well as some closely connected more sparsely populated areas, see water up to the roofs of their house," said Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., during a visit to Belle Chasse on Friday.
In the meantime, Plaquemines Parish closed its temporary shelters and many of its 700 evacuees on buses, headed for a state shelter in Shreveport. Ernest and Ida Bourgeois of Boothville opted to stay at their daughter's home in Mississippi.
"Don't look at two days," Ida Bourgeois said. "Look at two weeks."
It could take at least a week before all of the flood waters in Plaquemines Parish are drained and pumped off the land.