TERREBONNE PARISH, La. — As sandbags were filled in Terrebonne Parish late Friday afternoon, there was an announcement from parish leaders for everyone to evacuate.
“If you can leave on your own, please leave on your own,” Parish President Gordon Dove said. “We are the bullseye by every indication, of everything we have found.”
Dove says when Hurricane Ida hits the coastal part of the parish as an expected category 4 storm, it’ll bring with it 140 miles an hour winds and a storm surge up to 15 feet which will put the levee system and 13 floodgates to the test.
“We worked 17 years building a levee system, so we believe we should hopefully stop most of the water coming this way,” Dove said.
The wind, however, is expected to cause problems. At the sandpile pile, folks are getting ready, unsure about leaving.
“Just kind of hunker down and put the sandbags down and make sure I don’t get any water in my residence and hopefully everything works out,” Houma resident Tommy Washington said.
“The rain comes in my house when it rains already and we live by a bayou,” Houma resident Kylia Washington said.
Parish leaders expect Hurricane Ida to be a category three storm by the time it reaches the northern part of the parish. Plywood is already up at businesses and homes, a familiar sign of what’s to come, and this time it’s not a drill.
“It’s inevitable,” Houma resident Thomas Bourne said. “You keep missing them year in and year out, eventually you’re going to get one. You’ve just got to keep preparing every time.”
For folks not wanting to evacuate, the sheriff says officers will be out patrolling to protect property and urges people to get out.
“We’re asking you to evacuate so it doesn’t’ have to be a rescue mission,” Sheriff Tim Soignet said.
For anyone needing help evacuating, the parish will be bussing people to Monroe for free. That begins Saturday at 6 a.m. at H.L. Bourgeois High School.