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Ranchers moving cattle to higher ground ahead of Morganza Spillway opening

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MORGANZA - Ranchers herding cattle in Pointe Coupee Parish are preparing for the worst as several feet of water is expected to flood the area after the Morganza Spillway opens this weekend.

Wednesday, rancher Ricky Rivet teamed up with volunteers to load 200 cows into trailers. He says it's not his first rodeo.

"The first time I did this was in 1973 with my father. I was a senior in high school," Rivet said.

Rivet have since experienced all kinds of flooding scenarios with his family. 

"In 2011, the water got about four or five feet deep in the pen," he said.

In a meeting this week, officials notified locals about possible flooding due to the spillway opening Saturday. Now, like most ranchers, they are loading up their livestock and shipping them to Alexandria where there is higher ground. 

"This ain't something I want to do. But because of the rising waters, it's what we have to do," Rivet said.

The spillway will begin opening Sunday with one gate per day for the first three days.

The Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries is urging residents to be cognizant of wildlife seeking higher ground in the upcoming weeks, and to minimize contact with the animals as they adjust.

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