Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
GIBSON, La. ― It's grueling work but the stakes are high for Gibson residents.
"Trying to save the house, you know,” Gibson resident Gerlisa Calais said. “It's easier to do it by yourself."
They're working against the clock to protect homes and properties from an expected rise in Bayou Black, a waterway running right through Gibson.
For some, the Morganza Spillway opening hurts in numerous ways.
“I have to get replaced for my job,” Andrea Hanzy said. “I work in Amelia and they had to shut the job down, so I'm looking for a job and trying to save my home and my property. You know, it's hard."
But days into the effort, they're still going strong.
Near the local marina, public works crews moved huge piles of dirt to shore up a levee that runs along a small backwater canal.
And some tasks are complete, like this temporary barrier, in place around Greenwood Middle School.
Terrebonne Parish Councilwoman Arlanda Williams, who represents Gibson, is encouraged by the most recent water level projections, but she urges residents to remain alert.
"We may not see that great of an effect, however, we're still saying don't let your guards down,” Williams said. “Prepare, because the lack of preparation is what can cause destruction."
At one of several sandbag filling stations in town, that message resonates.
"If I could take this mountain (of sand), I'd take this mountain, but you know, the back might not hold up,” Gerlisa Calais said. “We're just trying to do our best...that's all you know."
“You don't know what water's gonna do. You don't know," added Jackie Rutledge, who was helping her elderly mother who lives in Gibson.