Heavy rains bring flooding to much of Iberville Parish

Staff Report
Residents stocked up on sandbags Saturday at Bayou Pigeon Fire Department, one of the sites throughout the parish that offered the bags as relief from flooding.

Forecasts calling for a clear skies and minimal chances of rainfall will lead to a drop in river stages along the area after nearly 10 days of heavy rain.

Throughout the parish, rainfall totals over the course seven days surpassed the average totals for the entire month of April.

A flash flood watch ended Sunday night for Iberville Parish, although water levels remain high, particularly in Bayou Sorrel and Bayou Pigeon.

Plaquemine reported 9.1 inches of rain between Wednesday and Thursday, aside from additional rainfall Friday.

Rainfall totals ranged from 7.82 inches last week in Bayou Sorrel to 5.86 inches in St. Gabriel.

The average rainfall total for the area during the month of April is 4.46 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

On April 15, boat launches at Jack Miller’s Landing and Bayou Pigeon on La. 75 closed due to high water, and waterways were closed to recreational boat traffic.

Residents remain hopeful that the forecast of a dry weather pattern this week will bring provide a sense of relief. In the bayou area, however, residents have long maintained a sense of resilience to the high water.

But it’s not to say it doesn’t get old for them.

For the residents along the La. 75 corridor between Sorrel and Pigeon, the rainfall last week dealt residents and businesses what has become a way of life, particularly during spring.

In what has long been a familiar – but still unwelcome – sight for the area, waters along the bayou inched extremely close to roadways.

The Iberville Parish Government provided sandbag distribution at various sites, including fire stations.

At Bayou Pigeon Fire Department, business owner Brian Mabile and several of his workers grabbed sandbags that the parish made available to residents to reduce flooding of their property.

“We do this every year” said Mabile, who owns a seafood business. “Today, I’m getting these to protect my grandmother’s home.”

It’s far from the first time he and other residents have dealt with the flood waters.

“It has almost become an every-year thing … not that want it to be,” Mabile said. “For us, we have a levee around my grandmother’s place, so once we get our levees topped, we’re okay, but there are a lot of other people who are in worse shape than we are.”

While the flooding almost seems like a normal spring ritual, it a process that’s old and tedious – and he wishes the state and federal government would make a greater effort to stop it.

It’s the only way he can envision flood relief for the area.

“The only way the floods will relieve here is if they can do something to get the water out the basin faster,” Mabile said. “If they can get the water out of Morgan City, maybe it will relieve the pressure on this side.

“They need to clean out the mouth of the river on the other end to relieve the pressure on this side,” he said. “Maybe that will help things.”

Clear skies remain in the forecast until the end of this week. A cold front is expected to bring rain to the area late Friday and early Saturday.

Early forecasts call for rainfall totals between a half-inch and two inches – much less than last week.