Preparations continue in Morgan City area ahead of expected flooding

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by Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on May 15, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Updated Sunday, May 15 at 9:49 PM

STEPHENSVILLE, LA - For Stephensville residents, it's a race against the clock.

"You haul sandbags. You do what you can do, and pray to the lord it doesn't come up any higher than three or four feet,” said Allen Aleman. “I'm protected up to about four feet.”

Aleman knows just how quickly the water can rise once it reaches waterways like Bayou Long.

He experienced the 1973 flood.

"All of a sudden the water started rising and it come up about two or three feet in about an hour and a half," Aleman said.

With portions of the Morganza Spillway now opened, some are counting on sandbags for protection, while others, like Carroll Angelle, are going a step further.

"They're saying we should have about five feet, and if I do, it'll go into my mobile home there. So, what I'm taking precautions on doing is, I'm gonna raise it another three or four feet tomorrow," he said.

Sunday, the scramble continued for residents and local governments.

A few miles from Stephensville, crews in Morgan City filled Hesco baskets along Highway 70.

"Our guys have been working 16 -18 hour days for the last week, and we're gonna continue that until we feel we can slow down for a little while and then, at that point, do surveillance," said Carl Kraemer, who heads up Morgan City’s emergency preparedness department.

With so much work already completed, some are feeling optimistic.

"I'm gonna be pretty positive today. I really feel like we've got a good shot, you know," Angelle said.

No one knows exactly what to expect in the coming days, however, and waiting to find out is tough.

"A lot of (residents) say they want it to hurry up and get here, just to see what's gonna happen and get it over with and start cleaning up," said Susie Billiot, a Morgan City resident.

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