Ground zero flood of 2011
Opening of Morganza spillway and flooding of Atchafalaya Basin bring people together
While at this point it appears the worst of the flooding will probably impact our neighbors down the road in Stephensville and possibly Amelia, our residents have taken precautions just in case our levees and sea wall don’t hold.
For the most part, the people of this area accept the fact that this water is being intentionally released upon us for the greater good of saving the highly populated and industrial areas of New Orleans and Baton Rouge. No one wants to lose their homes, but it appears the sacrifice must be made and we can only make every preparation possible to fortify our area, and then just pray that the Lord spares our properties.
The Corps of Engineers, in my opinion, held off as long as possible before having to make this most difficult decision to unleash the Mississippi River through Morganza spillway into the Atchafalaya Basin. I appreciate the fact that they did not cave in to the pressure from the state and the residents of New Orleans and Baton Rouge, and instead waited for scientific evidence that the time was correct to open the gates of the Morganza.
It has been such a joy for me to see all of the neighbors of this area working together to try to protect their properties. Much like after Hurricane Andrew (which caused great damage to Morgan City), as well as other hurricanes, the people of this area banded together and helped each other in every way possible.
About 20 members of my church went to Stephensville last week to help fill and load sand bags for a member who resides there. At the sand pile, there were approximately another hundred people filling and loading sandbags. The people, while working very quickly and efficiently, were still laughing and joking with each other. There was no panic, no bitterness; just your normal, hard-working Cajuns working together to achieve a common goal. The people were unfailingly polite and courteous to each other.
I talked with my buddy Jason St. Germaine, who I found loading sandbags by himself, (most did it as a two-man job) and I asked him how long he had been out there. He said it was his third day. When I asked who he was out there helping, he replied “Anybody who needs it. I just fill the bags and load them on whose ever truck needs it.” Jason does not live in Stephensville, but he told me, if he did, he would want people to help him.
Guys, it just doesn’t get any better than that! Jason embodies the spirit of selfless giving and love for his fellow man. We all learn a lot at church, but Jason, along with many others, are putting that faith to work.
I don’t know what the future holds for my city and area. Only God knows that. I pray that not a single life will be lost and that the predictions are not correct for the amount of flooding to come. What I do know is that I am surrounded by a great group of people who are ready to fight this flood with everything we have.
God bless us all.
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