We need to return to a more natural way to handle our waterways in the Mississippi Watershed. There is farmland that floods. Let it. These are bottom lands that should only be farmed at the farmers expense. There are towns that need to be moved. We can not control the watershed so we should stop trying.
KROTZ SPRINGS, La. – Renee Ledoux cried when the National Guard and sheriff’s deputies showed up at her front door and warned her she needed to get out to avoid water gushing from the Mississippi River after a floodgate was opened for the first time in four decades.
But by the 5 p.m. deadline Sunday, the 44-year-old Ledoux and her boyfriend Billy Hanchett decided to ride it out one more night on air mattresses inside the empty home in Krotz Springs. They have a camper they plan to stay in on a friend’s property outside the flood zone.
“We really don’t want to go,” Hanchett said. Ledoux added that she felt blessed that they had the camper because a lot of others have nowhere to go except shelters.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama planned to fly to Memphis, Tenn., on Monday to meet with families affected when the river flooded there as well as local officials, first responders and volunteers.
Deputies all over Louisiana Cajun country were warning residents to head for higher ground and most heeded it, even in places where there hasn’t been so much as a trickle, hopeful that the flooding engineered to protect heavily populated New Orleans and Baton Rouge would be merciful to their way of life.
Days ago, many of the towns known for their Cajun culture bustled with activity as people filled sandbags and cleared out belongings. By Sunday, some areas were virtually empty as the water from the Mississippi River, swollen by snowmelt and heavy rains, slowly rolled across the Atchafalaya River basin. It first started to come, in small amounts, into people’s yards in Melville on Sunday. But it still had yet to move farther downstream.
The floodwaters could reach depths of 20 feet in the coming weeks, though levels were nowhere close to that yet in the towns about 50 miles west of Baton Rouge.
Elsewhere, in an effort to keep a major shipping connection between the Gulf of Mexico and the Mississippi River open, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moved in a fifth dredge to dig sediment out of the Southwest Pass. A high river brings a huge amount of sediment and the dredges were being used to keep the 45-foot channel needed for deep-draft shipping.
Over the weekend, the Port of New Orleans said it had been told by the Coast Guard that shipping probably would continue largely unhindered on the lower Mississippi.
And that is what they want to protect. Baton Rouge and New Orleans are irrelevant. It’s the refineries, the petro-chemical plants and shipping that really matter. Please read the rest of the article. It is a pretty good “on the ground” coverage. They don’t come to the same conclusions that I do but then that is why I am me. More tomorrow.