In 24-hours, the Vermilion River rose from six-feet to 12-feet. Such a rush, in a short amount of time, has the system on overload.
“The water gets so high because it’s coming in through the coulee system and what not,” said David Cheramie, the CEO of the Bayou Vermilion District. “So, sometimes it causes the water to back up which is exactly what happened.”
Cheramie says he and his crew are keeping a close eye on the water levels. Although riding on the water isn’t prohibited, he says creating any kind of current can be detrimental not only to homeowners, but adds to the erosion problem.
“We recommend people do not go into the bayou with the water so high,” said Cheramie. “It’s for their personal safety and also the convenience of the homeowners. You’re actually pushing more water into some people’s homes.”
The rising waters swept a lot of items from people’s yards—another reason why it may be dangerous to be on the bayou at this time. There have been some strange things found post-flood.
“As far as debris found, (we’ve seen) flat screen TVs, lawn chairs, shopping carts. You name it and we’ve pulled it out of the bayou,” said Cheramie.
But it’s those items that make it a bad idea to ride along the water before it’s all cleaned out. “You could strike a log through and capsize and create all kinds of hazards that way,” said Cheramie.
The river water is not expected to fall below 10-feet for at least another week.