Worries In Louisiana As Mississippi Floods Move South
With all the floods in Tennessee and now Mississippi, Louisiana braces for the rising waters. People are on high alert and are waiting to see what our elected officials and the Army Corp of Engineers plan to do to spare our state of massive flooding.
(CNN) -- Residents of the Atchafalaya Basin in south-central Louisiana are as diverse as the unique waterways that course through the heart of Cajun country.
Of African, European, Caribbean and Native American descent, for generations these Louisianans have made their living from the water and sea, chasing after shad and crawfish or working on and supplying oil rigs and refineries.
They're also a resilient lot.
A roster of hurricanes is a constant reminder of the dangers and damage wrought by nature: Betsy, Gustav, Ike, Rita and, of course, Katrina.
Now the danger comes from the north, instead of the Gulf of Mexico, in the form of a historic flood.
"People are used to flooding," said Drake Pothier, president of the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce. "But they are more used to it coming from the opposite direction."
Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday predicted that as many as 3 million acres of his state could be affected by the flooding spawned by the Mississippi River. Some 500 National Guard members have been mobilized to meet the challenge.
Twenty-one parishes issued emergency declarations and 16 hospitals are identified as being at high risk.
As has been the case upriver from Missouri south to Tennessee, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is predicting its system of levees and flood walls will hold, keeping the river from inundating most Louisiana towns and farms that line its banks.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the coming days is expected to decide whether to open the Morganza Spillway above Baton Rouge. It hasn't been opened since 1973.
Controlling the Mississippi
Jindal tours Louisiana as waters rise
Towns wrecked by floods
* Terrebonne Parish
* Morgan City
Such a move would spare Baton Rouge and New Orleans even more damage from the floods, but it would flood populated and rural areas in the swampy Atchafalaya Basin. The basin is home to the Atchafalaya River and myriad tributaries.
There's plenty to worry about in communities such as Butte La Rose, Bayou Sorrel, Morgan City, Krotz Springs and Houma. They have varying levels of flood defense. Some residents are posting questions and fears on the Corps Facebook page.
What do you think they should do to help the situation????