LAFOURCHE PARISH, La. — Even on a calm day, Highway 1 sits just a few feet above Bayou Lafourche. Here in Leeville, the relationship between land and water can be a difficult one, especially during hurricane season.
"This is just the beginning of the storm season and we are not looking forward to all that we've been through in the past,” Gail Serigny, owner of Gail’s Bait Shop said. "From the five storms prior we didn't think it would be that bad -- and I thank god that we did leave -- because I would have lost everything.”
As we enter the 2021 hurricane season, the NOAA Climate Center predicts an above average hurricane season with 13 to 30 named storms, six to 10 hurricanes and three to five major hurricanes.
Lafourche Parish President Archie Chaisson says if anything comes this way, they’re prepared for storms to be stronger and slower than in the past.
"It's something that we talk about quite often with climate change,” Chaisson said. “We see the different El Nino and La Nina and how those transition in the weather patterns."
He says if there is any good news, it’s that forecasters are predicting hurricanes earlier, giving more time for residents to evacuate if they need to.
“We can pull some triggers a little bit faster than we would years ago when that data wasn't as prevalent,” Chaisson said.
Back at Gail’s, they’ve weathered more storms than they can count since her father opened the place back in the late 60s. She’s prepared to leave if it gets bad again. For now, she’s hoping and praying for her community.
“We take it one day at a time,” she said. “God's blessed us before, he is going to continue to watch over us and we are just going to stand strong.”