Doug Mouton / Northshore Bureau Chief
ST. FRANCISVILLE, La. -- This is the end of Ferdinand Street in St. Francisville, where roughly a half dozen homes and businesses are now flooded. Others are close.
Henry Davis came here today to try to help out his Aunt Ruby inside.
“Yeah, she’s gonna have trouble; if they wait to the last minute, she’s going to have trouble getting out because she lives in a hospital bed,” said Davis, a Jackson, Louisiana resident.
The part of St. Francisville that’s flooded is at the very low-lying end in town. The vast majority of St. Francisville is on that hill.
“Where we stand in the city limits is about 300 yards to the left, and the rest of St. Francisville is on the hill, and if we get water on the hill, you’ll see Noah and his boat up there,” said St. Francisville Mayor Billy D’Aquila.
D’Aquila said of St. Francisville’s 1800 residents, maybe 30 live where it is flooding. The rest are high and dry.
At the bottom of the hill is where the town of Bayou Sera used to be. Locals say in the early 1900s, Bayou Sera was as big as St. Francisville. But in the great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, Bayou Sera was wiped out, and very few people have built at the bottom of the hill since then.
“The height that it’s at right now is about the highest I’ve ever seen it, and we’re supposed to get another 4 to 5 feet,” said West Feliciana Parish Sheriff Austin Daniel.
St. Francisville is a beautiful old town, steeped in Louisiana history. D’Aquila said news reports about flooding here have led to cancellations at the town’s bed and breakfasts, which are all dry and in no danger. For the homes that are, most of the people we talked to would like to see the Morganza open.
“They should be opening it now. Not waiting until a couple days. Open it now. And that would take a lot of stress off the people up this way,” Davis said.
“I think they should open it. That’s what it was built for,” Daniel said. “Of course, I don’t have family over there and I don’t cows over there or crop over there, but it was built for that purpose, and I strongly feel it should be open.”