Officials: Water continues to rise in Acadiana

Acadiana was given a reprieve from the downpours on Friday, but rivers, bayous and coulees continued to swell as the week’s rainwater rolled off the landscape.

While some areas of the region were drying off, some residents were keeping a wary eye on the rising water.

In Crowley, where Mayor Greg Jones said some 250 homes saw water damage on Thursday, residents were cleaning up.

Brittney Mouton said her home on West Andrus Drive took on about 7 inches of water, soaking her carpets and leaving a snake behind.

“Look, over there,” Mouton said, pointing under a tree in her front yard, where a dead snake lay. “It’s a little one, but still.”

Jones said most of the water had drained from Crowley on Friday, but he was still concerned about the possibility of more rain that might be too much for the nearby Mermentau River to handle.

The Mermentau River was forecast to crest Saturday afternoon at 9 feet at the village of Mermentau, according to the National Weather Service.

That’s about six feet higher than the river was on Tuesday before a lingering system dumped from seven inches to 12 inches of rain on the Acadiana region.

“The Mermentau is full,” he said. “We’ve got it coming from the north, but it’s not going south because there is nowhere for it to go.”

To the west of Crowley in Estherwood, Elbee and Adeline LeJeune had driven out Friday to a section of La. 91 that was completely submerged. “We’ve lived here since 1974, and this is the highest we’ve ever seen it,” Elbee LeJeune said. LeJeune said the water was from Bayou Plaquemine, which flows into the Mermentau River. “I’m afraid it’s going to come up another couple of feet,” he said.

That feeling was shared in St. Landry Parish, where major waterways in the parish, including Bayou Courtableau and Bayou Teche, are expected to rise over the weekend as water drains from an area that stretches north to Alexandria.

“We’ve noticed a rise of feet, not inches,” St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot said.

High water is expected in the areas of Washington, Port Barre, Leonville and Arnaudville, with the severity determined by how quickly the waterways drain and whether the rain returns this weekend, Fontenot said.

He said it is too early to assess damage to homes, but about 70 local roads in the parish remains impassable because of high water.

“We don’t see any relief right now, since there is more rainfall predicted,” Fontenot said.

He said parish crews are on standby this weekend to assist with an flooding relief and recovery efforts.

Lafayette, despite flooding to the west and northwest, seems to have been spared.

The Vermilion River near Carencro was at 21.5 feet Friday, according to the National Weather Service. That’s about 10 feet higher that it was on Tuesday, but Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Capt. Kip Judice said Friday afternoon that no major problems are expected.

“The water has drained significantly over the course of the day,” he said Friday afternoon.

Judice said he has heard no reports of flooded homes, but a few roads in the parish are still impassable.