Southern end of Plaquemines Parish re
B mulberry outlet ack to Main MenuReal Estate TransfersBack to Main MenuLocal Grocery AdsSpecial SectionsLocal AdsLagniappePlaquemines Parish lifted its last remaining police checkpoint at noon Th mulberry outlet ursday, restoring access to the southern end of the Gulf Coast peninsula.Residents returned down Louisiana 23 past still flooded pasture and farmland even as emergency managers continued to struggle with a massive levee breach carved out by Hurricane Gustav’s storm surge about 150 feet wide at Pointe Celeste.Falling water levels had left the highway dry by this morning and there have been no reports of flooded homes, but much work remained to be done at the site of the breach. Parish officials expected to have it plugged today, using National Guard Chinook helicopters.But by Thursday morning only a fraction of the sandbags needed to stop water from coming through were in place, said Murray Starkel, formerly of the Army Corps of Engineers and now an employee of the parish.Plaquemines officials warned returning evacuees that services in the parish are still limited. “We don’t want to keep people from their homes,” emergency preparedness chief Phil Truxillo said. “But they need to bring their own supplies; their own food, their own medicine, their own water.”After nightmare hurricane forecasts as late as Sunday, Plaquemines was largely spared any major damage. Returning residents found mainly stripped siding and downed fences, though the evacuation itself presented its own travails.Jerrilynn McGehee, of Belle Chasse, left Saturday with her husband, Billy, and two children, 5 and 17, joining a caravan of family members heading to Memphis. “I was more afraid of this storm than Katrina,” McGehee said. “I just had a bad feeling Belle Chasse wasn’t going to be spared this time.”But they had to turn around in Gretna and dash back to the house for her 5 year old daughter’s pet fish. Then her nephew fell asleep on the highway and rammed her Nissan truck into the back of the family camper, though no one was hurt.”It was stressful,” McGehee said.Power and other servic mulberry outlet es have largely returned in Belle Chasse but officials said it could be a week before electricity and sewer service returns on the southern end of the parish. Entergy crews were at mulberry outlet work on downed power lines throughout the parish. The parish has set up three distribution sites for residents to receive bottled water, blue tarps and MREs. They are at Belle Chasse Auditorium, 8398 Louisiana 23; St. Patrick’s Church, 28698 Louisiana 23,Port Sulphur; and Assumption Catholic Church, 6951 Louisiana 39,Braithwaite. Center hours are 3pm to 7pm daily while supplies last. Proof of residency is required. each night.Meanwhile, hundreds of giant sand bags were lined up along Louisiana 23 south of the Conoco Phillips oil refinery waiting to be dropped in the breach at Pointe Celeste.Starkel said helicopters dropped 160 Wednesday before suspending operations overnight. A Chinook could be seen from the highway ferrying bags this morning. The parish is still looking for more helicopters, possibly Blackhawks, to help drop bags and portable pumps to drain water from the inundated region.Most of the area is sparsely populated, but homes were still at risk as late as Wednesday. Much of the area is farm and cattle pasture.But officials stressed that any breach in the 34 miles of private levees that protect the middle stretch of peninsula could cut off access to vital oil and natural gas infrastructure on the southern end of the parish in towns like Venice and Port Sulfer. The lower end of the parish is also home to a large part of the state’s seafood industry.