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Sandbags weigh down floating crypts

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Posted: May 28, 2014 9:07 PM by Brittany Weiss
Updated: May 28, 2014 9:07 PM
Source: WBRZ

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Topics: flood, cemetery, Belle Rose, Rosehill, sandbags, water, crypts

BELLE ROSE - A flooded cemetery in Assumption Parish forced loved ones of those entombed there to scramble to weigh coffins down with sandbags before they floating away in high water.

By Wednesday afternoon, Rosehill Baptist Cemetery in Belle Rose off Highway 998 had about a foot of water surrounding crypts and headstones. At least a dozen crypts floated away from their final resting place.

"This is getting to be ridiculous," said Erwin Bell, who was at the cemetery trying to keep his loved ones from floating away. "You know, when we bury someone, we expect them to stay buried, not to have a little rain come and force that grave back up."

Sandbags were delivered by the truck load. Those helping said this isn't the first time Rosehill has flooded.

"Last year I had to come, my dad and brother's grave was floating up," said Bell.

Wednesday, some people even moved caskets to higher ground.

"My husband helped them take a grave from out of the road, and bring it down to South Hall," said Christel Diggs, who lives across the street from Rosehill Cemetery.

The sheriff's office says there is no telling how bad the damage is until the water goes down.

"It's unfortunate. That cemetery is really in bad shape right now," said Sheriff Mike Waguespack. "We've got a lot of tombs that are open. It's hard for this drainage system to keep up or any drainage system really, to keep up with this type of rainfall."

In terms of long term projects for Belle Rose, Waguespack says the town is working to clear culverts and canals, but funding is an issue.

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