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Evacuated in 2011, Butte La Rose looking at spillway with new attitude

3 years 4 months 3 days ago Thursday, May 23 2019 May 23, 2019 May 23, 2019 5:57 PM May 23, 2019 in News
Source: WBRZ

BUTTE LA ROSE - As people prepare for the possible opening of the Morganza Spillway, in St. Martin Parish, there's a different approach. Last time the spillway opened in 2011, they were told to get out of the water's path and leave. But that water never showed up.

Residents of Butte La Rose remember the time well. Mark Manalo says it was a scramble that turned out to be unnecessary.

"People packed up their belongings and left," Manalo said.

The owners of Frenchman's Wilderness Campground were told they would flood when the spillway opened in 2011. The area lost business over it and other businesses in the area feared they would be under 25 feet of water. It wasn't the case.

"The Army Corps of Engineers drove down here and told us there was going to be 15 feet of water, which didn't happen, and everyone had to evacuate," Rodney Gerard said.

Like others, Gerard packed up his house and left town for two weeks anticipating a lot of water. This time, he has a different attitude.

"Let it come," he said. "But evacuate all my belongings again, no that's not going to happen again."

Residents are noting a difference this time. The ground is already wet and many properties are holding water. In 2011, Manalo remembers how dry the ground was.

"If we had a flood now it would just be with us for weeks and weeks," Manalo said.

That's still not changing the plan of action for people living in Butte La Rose. Instead of evacuating, many plan to wait and watch until they're told otherwise.

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