Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
The 200-year-old town of St. Francisville is known for its antebellum mansions and tourists attractions. Wednesday morning, the tour bus came to see flooding in a low-lying area on the outskirts of the town.
Blocks warned of high water and the abrupt ending of Ferdinand Street, where the Mississippi River takes over the road.
The flood gets deep quickly, wrapping around houses and submerging them. It’s becoming a tourist attraction.
“This is unbelievable,” said Chris Rogers who was visiting from Baton Rouge. “This is some unbelievable stuff, just never thought the Mississippi would be coming like this, especially in St. Francisville.”
“Mother Nature has it all and nobody can mess with her,” said Eual Hall, who was also from Baton Rouge.
“I come through here probably two or three times a month and I’ve never seen this,” said Hall.
The river is reaching recording highs, startling area residents like Fred Smith. His house, with a raised foundation, is already in the water.
“It’s not unusual about every ten years to have high water, but never like this,” said Smith. “I think this surprised a lot of people.”
The flooding was on the edge of St. Francisville, which used to be called Bayou Sara until it was wiped out by the 1927 flood. Now, there are only about 8 to 10 flooded structures, six are homes.
“We have no shelters open. We haven’t had to do anything different than we always do when you get a rise in the river,” said St. Francisville Mayor Billy D’Aquilla. “It’s just kind of business as usual right now. It’s really something to come see.”
St. Francisville is built on top of a hill – it sits high and dry – but D’Aquilla is angry at national news reports that give the impression that St. Francisville is flooding, hurting the area’s multi-million dollar tourism industry.
“We’ve been getting cancellations at our bed and breakfasts, our hotels,” said D’Aquilla.
D’Aquilla is pleading to not cancel your trip to St. Francisville, saying the town needs your business.