Residents battle floods amidst state of emergency in lower St. Martin Parish

St. Martin Parish

ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY) — Officials have declared a state of emergency for lower St. Martin Parish after days of heavy rainfall flooded many areas.

More storms are expected this week, and they say the flooding may get worse.

“We pulled the trigger and issued the state of emergency,” St. Martin Parish President Chester Cedars said.

He says the worst areas impacted are Stephensville and Belle River.

“It came up Monday like it is in the yard. It did go down a little bit, but it did come back up as soon as the rain comes. The ground is so saturated, it can’t hold it,” Stephensville resident Vicky Cradeur said.

With each storm, residents say the water gets closer and closer to their homes.

“We’ve seen the water almost all the way to the front of this trailer park,” Cradeur added.

She says the floods are causing numerous problems.

“It’s really bad. They have to cancel school a lot because the buses can’t run. It’s a bad problem out here. I know we’re surrounded by water, and we live on the water, so then you have the problem of snakes,” she told News Ten.

Other residents say alligators have been another serious threat, as they’ve been pushed inland by the floods and are now living in their yards.

They say the scariest part, though, is not knowing when the flooding will stop.

“This water will recede back to the bayou eventually, but if we keep getting days and days of rain, it’s just going to rise. And it’ll be all the way up here,” Cradeur told News Ten.

Parish President Chester Cedar says they’re doing all they can to stop the flood waters from rising anymore.

They’re plugging drains, creating makeshift levees with sandbags, and setting up dozens of pumping systems to pump the water out of the streets, but until they can get control of this flooding, they will stay in a state of emergency.

“We’ll continue to have our personnel down there addressing this issue until the situation abates,” Cedars said.

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