PLAQUEMINES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - A breach in a small Plaquemines Parish levee is causing big worries for nearby homeowners and threatening to flood Highway 23.
Using 2,000 pound sandbags, Plaquemines Parish work crews are hoping to stop the water before it gets any closer to the highway.
"We'll have to do a lot of praying tonight," Plaquemines Parish President Amos Cormier Jr. said.
If it advances any farther, it could spell disaster.
"It would first cause a problem for Ironton, the community of Ironton, and the residents on the west side of the highway, and after that it would affect Highway 23," Cormier explained.
The water is coming from a breach in a small levee next to the Myrtle Grove subdivision. It's flowing into a pasture, inching closer and closer to the roadway. The initial breach in the levee expanded in just a few short hours. The sheer force of the water created about a 20 foot hole, an even bigger problem for parish crews to plug.
"We had to come back and establish a perimeter on the backside on firm ground, and that's where we are now as we bring in riff raff which is cement and the sand bags and whatever we can get our hands on," Cormier said.
The race against time to stop the water is actually causing more problems for some homeowners.
Warren Lawrence says, "We can't get out our homes, we can't get in our homes."
Residents in the Myrtle Grove subdivision blame the parish for the leak, saying the levee is weak.
"We have a downstairs kitchen, we took about eight to 12 inches," Kevin Crosses commented.
They want the water pumped out, to ensure they're not stranded for days.
Crosson says, "The water that's in this neighborhood, on the streets, it's gonna be trapped in here once they plug that breach."
They say they've been told the parish is exploring it's options, but it's clear, stopping the massive overflow from the breach, is the top priority.
Maintenance crews had to stop their work on the breach at sunset, but will be back on scene early Tuesday morning.
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