A familiar dance, La. readies to bail out homes

September 5, 2011

(CBS News)

Residents of the Gulf Coast are continuing to battle Tropical Storm Lee. The sturbborn, slow-moving storm dumped more than a foot of rain in New Orleans, and residents throughout the region are dealing with tornados and flooding.


The rain isn’t expected to let up until Monday, and it’s been pouring on and off for four days. The concern in coastal cities of Louisiana has become over-filled bayous.


The Enclade family had to wade in knee-high water to get home in the community of Lafitte, La. on Saturday. CBS News correspondent Bigad Shaban reports that Tropical Storm Lee brought a surge of water there, surrounding every home, seeping into many.


“Been living here 40 years. This is the sixth time we’ve dealt with it,” said Michael Enclade.


Their 12-year-old son paddled ahead as they traveled a block and a half to check on their family business.


In the nearby community of Crown Point, the situation was much the same, with main roads now basically open water for evacuating residents to navigate.


“I don’t think I can survive starting over again. Rebuild and tear stuff down. It’s just hard,” said resident George Williams.


Water rises in New Orleans again
Lee lurches ashore in South
Video: Floods threaten La.


For 12-year-old Kaylin Stravinsky, the high tide brings sadness.


“Some of my friends live back here, so it’s kinda hard to see them get water in their homes,” Kaylin said. “They have to move away sometimes and then I can’t play with them anymore.”


Driving through the community of Crown Point, it is easy to get the sense of just how vulnerable this low-lying area is. Much of it is covered in at least 2 feet of water, turning neighborhoods into bayous, and brining dangerous wildlife into backyards.


Loris Verdin, 78, watched the water come in from his front porch, waves flowing just under his sofa.


In the southernmost part of the state, it’s Tropical Storm Lee’s surge of water that threatens homes, but across Southeast Louisiana, it was the rain.


Parts of New Orleans got as much as 15 inches of rain since Thursday; 16 inches in nearby Gretna. In parts of St. Bernard and Jefferson parishes, there was.over 11 inches.


The end of Tropical Storm Lee will mean the beginning of the coastal cleanup — one residents in the community have done before, and will likely be forced to do again.


“Just like any place you live has problems to deal with, ours is the flood. Hopefully, we get two or three years before it happens to again,” said Michael Enclade.


Using high-water rescue trucks, nearly three dozen people have been evacuated, now that the water is getting too high for people to get out themselves.


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