Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Floods force sandbagging in St. Martin Parish

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BREAUX BRIDGE-- The back-breaking work of filling and hauling sandbags is worth it to John Richard, even at 68 years old.  He watched as his neighbors' homes in St. Martin Parish were flooded last week.  He got lucky, because only his septic tank flooded.  But water in the bayous near his house is still much higher than normal, and his yard is still soggy from heavy rain last week.

"Every time it would stop raining, I'd say, 'Well the water's gonna go down,' then it would start pouring down again," Richard said.

He spent several hours Tuesday afternoon filling sandbags to put around his home before heavy rain arrives again.  So did Brian Castille, who got nine inches of water in his front and back yard last week.  They were two of about 25 people who filled hundreds of sandbags in Breaux Bridge.

"We feel like we need to be more prepared this time," Castille told News 2 as he filled his sixteenth sandbag.

The rain and the need for sandbags came as a surprise to Castille, " 'cause it's not hurricane season."

Castille is used to filling sandbags and water rising, but not in March.  Normally, he would evacuate, but this time he plans to stick around as long as possible.

"We're gonna stay and ride it out, but if we see it gets any worse, we're gonna evacuate," Castille said.

Local officials also handed out sandbags in Arnaudville.  Because water is still standing on the roadway, they are asking people not to drive around unless it's necessary.


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