Plaquemine Parish President: Damage Is Just As Bad As Katrina

The eye of Isaac came on shore the first time at Plaquemine Parish, a stretch of thin land that sits just offshore of Louisiana and southeast of New Orleans.

According to the parish president, the damage there is just as bad as what happened during Katrina.

In an interview with Morning Edition‘s Steve Inskeep, Billy Nungesser said the parish’s levee had been overtopped and parts of the parish which had never flooded during a hurricane were under five feet of water.

Nungesser said he stopped by his home and part of his roof was missing and the back wall had moved.

“I don’t know whose calling this a category 1 but this is no category 1,” Nungesser said. “My house has more damage than it did during Katrina.”

When Nungesser spoke to Steve, two of the city’s employees, who operate the pumps, were stranded on top of the levee. The water came up so quickly, Nungesser said, that when they decided it was time to leave, their truck could not make it out from under the water.

“This’ll be historical,” Nungesser said.

If you remember, before the storm hit, Plaquemine was one of the few parishes in Louisiana to issue a mandatory evacuation order for some residents. But Nungesser said those who did not heed the evacuation and were in need of rescuing would have to wait until conditions improved and rescuers could get out there.

WWLTV has an interview with a man who said the water started coming up at around 2 a.m. When he spoke to the station, he was in his attic with his wife and his 1-year-old child. He said the water had reached the top of the door frame in the first floor, but that it had stopped rising.

“We’re going to lose everything we got,” he said. “It just came up so quick.”

If the water continues to rise, he said, he would have to shoot his way out of the attic and onto the roof.

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