WWNO News Reports
9:04 pm
Tue May 31, 2011

Flooding Evacuations Lifting In Some Parts of Atchafalaya River

New Orleans, La. – Jim Delahoussaye has been staying in Lafayette after evacuating from his home in Butte LaRose. But when authorities switched the mandatory evacuation order to voluntary status over the weekend, he got in line to check his property.

"There was a pretty constant stream of trucks and trailers and refrigerators and furniture and all kinds of stuff, boats full of junk, coming back into Butte LaRose."

He says his home was in no danger of flooding, but some older fishing camps on lower ground were under water. Delahoussaye says the Army Corps of Engineers had predicted river levels of 29 feet in his area, but it was actually six feet lower.

"It made a huge difference. We're suffering basically no damage all."

Delahoussaye, who writes a blog called "Riverlogue" about the Atchafalaya basin, will be heading home Wednesday to unpack. There's furniture to get down from blocks and household items to retrieve from the attic and safe storage.

"Effectively there was no danger. And a lot of people are going to take that as - next time something like this happens, they're going to attempt to probably ignore the warnings, which will be a bad thing."

The St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office says mandatory evacuation orders remain in effect in low-lying areas to the west where water is still rising.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming