For the first 50 years of his life Donald Stokes lived happily in Braithwaite, a town of a few hundred residents in Plaquemines Parish. In 2006 he and his wife decided to leave.
Stokes says it was such a painful departure that it took him two years to actually complete the move. “Slowly but surely I put stuff on a trailer, came back, put stuff on a trailer, came back. It wasn't easy. It felt like I was uprooting my life.”
Plaquemines Parish has issued a mandatory evacuation order for the eastbank of the parish, and all communities on the westbank with no levee protection. The evacuation order begins at 6:00 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3.
Additionally, a voluntary evacuation order has been called for the westbank of the parish from Ironton to Venice. The Belle Chasse Auditorium will open at 6:00 p.m. as a place of shelter, but residents are advised to bring their own provisions with them.
Lionel Alverez is in the Promised Land Cemetery again, taking inventory. He has been coming to this cemetery in Plaquemines Parish, La., all his life. The graveyard is hemmed in between the Mississippi River and the marsh on a lonely stretch of highway.
Promised Land has been the final resting place for the Alverezes for generations. Alverez, 61, points out several graves, one by one. "Albert Alverez. Huey Alverez and Harold Alverez. My brother Allen is near the rear, back there."
The Coast Guard says a wellhead damaged earlier this week off Plaquemines Parish has been secured.
Ensign Tanner Stiehl says Wild Well Control crews secured the well shortly after a specialized barge arrived Thursday in Lake Grande Ecaille Bay, nine miles southwest of Port Sulphur.
The wellhead owned by Houston-based Swift Energy Co. was damaged Tuesday by one of the company's crewboats. Stiehl says skimmer boats have since collected more than 1,200 gallons of oily water. He says 4,880 feet of boom was set out to contain the spill and keep it out of marshes.