National Guard sandbags breach; some residents return to Braithwaite

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wwltv.com

Posted on September 5, 2012 at 6:12 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 5 at 6:22 PM

Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
Email: kmoore@wwltv.com | Twitter: @katiecmoore

PLAQUEMINES, La. -- Some Plaquemines Parish residents are getting a glimpse of their East bank homes as others are still waiting for the flood water to recede.

This, as parish leaders try to fill a large breach in the levee created by the same storm surge that leveled so many homes.

“We didn't think that anything would happen with a category one. Katrina didn’t take my house and it was a category five,” said Justin Gibbons, a Braithwaite landlord.

Gibbons owns a number of rental properties along Scarsdale Road, and at one point he went to go check on his tenants.

“We swam back here. We made it about halfway down this road right here, and the water was about 9 feet high when we got half way,” Gibbons said.

“Very scared. This is the first storm I've ever been through. I'm from up north. So, didn't know nothing about a hurricane,” said Christina Kegg, one of Gibbons’ tenants.

They said neighbors yelled for 60-year-old Anne George and her partner, but say the couple had been drinking and didn't hear them.

They drowned in their kitchen. Gibbons had reported them missing.

“They just were disabled and wasn't able to get out in time. The water rose too fast before we could get there,” Gibbons said.

As residents began to trickle back into Braithwaite to see the sludge that now consumes many of their homes, parish workers focused on getting the water out.

The parish cut more than a dozen holes in the levee to drain the area and in the process found a breach that opened up during the storm.

National Guard troops spent much of Wednesday dropping sandbags in the hole.

Just last week, those same National Guard troops were rescuing Justin and his 85-year-old father off the levee.

“It's horrible. Way more than you can imagine,” Gibbons said.

They had been trapped in their home without food and water for nearly two days.

Parish workers are also working to back-fill some of the cuts they made as they monitor the level of the tides.

 

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