St. Landry residents evacuate ahead of potential floods

KROTZ SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - Sections of St. Landry Parish are under a mandatory evacuation as floodwaters from the Morganza Spillway surge toward their homes. More than 2,000 people have been warned to get out.

Some residents of Krotz Springs and Melville, who live inside the ring levee, are allowed to stay, but those who live in the Basin spent Saturday packing up.

Highway 105 in Krotz Springs is divided.  Some who live along the road are under mandatory evacuation; others are under a voluntary evacuation.  At Karen Duplechian's house, there is one truck bed with sandbags being unloaded and stacked around the house.  On another truck sits 16 years of family belongings.

"My home sweet home. I'm leaving it," she said.

The Duplechain family lives south of Highway 190. For seven days now, the family has been packing and moving.  Inside, every room is empty.

"I'm picturing like on TV. I'm so scared we're going to have water over rooftops like those poor unfortunate people," she said. " It's just so unreal."

She said when her family first heard talk of the Morganza Spillway opening they started moving to dryer ground. With time winding down, they continued stacking sandbags over the weekend with hopes that their home will be spared.

"This house was built in 1963. It survived the flood in 1973," she said. "We are just praying it'll survive the flood of 2011."

Duplechain's husband said when they bought the house from the previous owner, they were told water came shy of entering the home by just one inch.

Until the family is allowed back, they will stay in a camper in Port Barre.

The Atchafalaya Basin area north of Highway 190 is under voluntary evacuation.