Hunting camp owners in St. Landry Parish brace for opening of spillway

Photo Credit: KLFY

Saint Landry Parish officials declared a state of emergency due to possible flooding from the rising Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers if the Morganza Spillway is opened.

Hunters at Balley Hack Hunting Club are packing up as they prepare for the possible opening.

Owner Jasper Artall said last time the spillway opened in 2011 the water rose 18.5 feet.

“If they open the gates like they say they’re going to do Monday, this will probably have about 10 feet of water in here. We have to get this stuff out,” Artall told KLFY’s Jazmin Thibodeaux.

The campground near Melville, is a favorite for hunters at the peak of hunting season, and is located right in the path of the spillway.

Now, all of them are forced to move out.

“We have about 30 to 35 trailers in here. They are making preparations to take their stuff out of here,” Artall said.

St. Landry Parish-President Bill Fontenot said many residents in Melville and Krotz Springs will have to start preparing for a potential flood.

“I’m not expecting any catastrophic flooding, but we do have some low-lying areas where people. People just need to stay attentive,” Fontenot explained.

The parish president also recommended that cattlemen begin moving livestock.

“They need to be prepared to move them. That would be the wise thing to do is to have a plan to relocate your animals; horses, cattle, dogs, pets in case there is something catastrophic that happens,” said Fontenot.

Sandbags will be available beginning on January 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Melville at The Park (415 Canal Street) and in Krotz Springs at the town’s maintenance building (122 Second Street).

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