With Tropical Storm Isaac's track shifted, it's a 'whole different ballgame' in lower Jefferson



Posted on August 26, 2012 at 10:37 PM

Scott Satchfield / Eyewitness News
Email: ssatchfield@wwltv.com | Twitter: @satchfield

With the surf already higher and rougher than usual on Sunday in Grand Isle, Mayor David Camardelle voiced strong concerns over possible beach erosion.

"You wake up this morning and it's a whole different ballgame," he said.

Camardelle is keeping a close eye on the stability of one area in particular, a temporary geo-tube – also known as a burrito levee – which sits in front of several beach homes.

"If something punctures this, it'll just pour out sand and then wash out into the Gulf of Mexico,” he said. “It'll be like a flat tire.”

A mandatory evacuation goes into effect for Grand Isle at 9 a.m. Monday.

Across Barataria Bay, in Lafitte, La., all eyes are focused on bayou water levels, which are expected to rise as Isaac moves closer.

"We don't have adequate levee protection,” Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner said. “We can only take about five and a half feet of tidal surge in certain areas.”

"We already have 75,000 sandbags that are in Lafitte,” Jefferson Parish councilman Chris Roberts said. “We're making arrangements right now to get another 50,000 sandbags. So, those sandbags will be used to shore up areas of the levee system so that the storm surge we experience, we can try and hold back."

With crews now scrambling to protect homes and businesses across Lower Jefferson, they hope residents are doing their part to stay safe.

"Everyone needs to pay close attention here and not just the coastal communities, but really anyone who lives in Southeast Louisiana because when a storm enters the gulf, anything can happen," Roberts said.

Lafitte residents are being asked to leave on a voluntary basis Monday morning.