St. James residents begin to see light at the end of the flood tunnel

St. James residents begin to see light at the end of the flood tunnel

ST. JAMES PARISH, LA (WVUE) - The flood water in St James Parish isn't expected to rise anymore, but some people are still working around the clock to save their homes.

One neighborhood in Paulina is still dealing with a lot of water, and in some cases the floodwater is seeping under sandbags. But homeowners are refusing to give up the fight.

"All night you get up every couple of hours and see where you've got to pump," said homeowner Shelley Donadieu. "As you can see the water is pumping out. If this pump would go out or my pump in the front would go out, it would rise and it would go in the house."

Don Dunn is also running a 24/seven operation with two pumps constantly working. When his shift ends, his neighbor steps in. It's an example of how the community pulls together when it's needed most.

"They came to my aid, you know and it's great," Dunn said. "From the bottom of my heart I thank them. Some of these people I didn't even know."

Since last Saturday, volunteers that included small children filled and distributed more than 50,000 sandbags.

"We saw stories of 20 and 30 people around houses and everybody joining into save them. I really think we save more houses this time," said St. James Parish President Timothy Roussel.

Roussell said the water this time rose higher than it did during Hurricane Isaac, when 135 homes flooded. This time, only five or six homes took on water.

"And I feel terrible for those five that flooded, but that's better than 35," he said. "I think it was a gigantic sense of community all coming together and helping out."

With word that the back water flooding will begin to finally recede, spirits are high.

"We're doing well. My mother-in-law's house is staying dry. Everything is going good. I'm feeling optimistic about it," said homeowner Elise Gaudet.

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