The Mighty Mississippi.

In honor of all my Cajun family and Friends back home in Louisiana… I’m sitting here at work, listening to some good ol’ Zydeco music. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

The Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to open 160 bays along the Bonnet Carré Spillway as the Mississippi River reaches flood stage in New Orleans. The water level has reached 17 feet, but it isn’t expected to crest until May 23, at 19 feet. The Bonnet Carré Spillway was partially opened Monday, but the surging waters continued to race toward New Orleans. Authorities warned they may have to open the Morganza Spillway, which would take a week and threaten thousands of buildings and residents. In Arkansas, where floodwaters have already peaked, the Farm Bureau estimates $500 million in damage to cropland.

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(CNN) — On a two-lane road that cuts through a dense forest of Louisiana cypress trees, intermingled with narrow, dark creeks, sits a small community trapped in the path of a looming disaster.

Hundreds of people packed into the Butte La Rose firehouse to learn about the flood projections from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Col. Ed Fleming delivered the dire news.

“Listen to me, listen to me, OK,” Fleming said. “I’m telling you the depth of water from right here will be 15 feet.”

The number stunned the crowd.

Pierre Watermeyer turned to friends and said, “It’s over with, it’s over with.”

Pierre Watermeyer turned to friends and said, “It’s over with, it’s over with.”

Pierre Watermeyer says he won't evacuate Butte La Rose until the water starts to touch his "Last Dance" camp sign.

The 15-foot flood prediction in Butte La Rose is based on the Corps inundation map if and when the Morganza Spillway is opened.

In the coming days, it’s expected that the Mississippi River Commission will give the Corps permission to open the floodgates of the Morganza Spillway.

That will re-direct floodwaters from the Mississippi River through the Atchafalaya River Basin, which runs between Baton Rouge and Lafayette south toward Morgan City.

There are more than 800 homes in Butte La Rose area of St. Martins Parish and it sits right in the path of the flood path. It’s home to an eclectic collection of Cajuns who’ve come to this hideaway for generations to drift through the hidden waterways catching crawfish. They call their homes “camps.”

It’s worse than we thought. It’s going to take everything, everything we’ve got. It’s scary. It’s going to take out our whole community.
–Kelli Trimm, resident

Each with funny names like Timbuktu, Abracadabra and Bahama Mama’s.Watermeyer finished designing and painting his red and yellow camp sign a few weeks ago, calling his home “Last Dance.”“I always wanted to name the camp Last Dance,” Watermeyer said as he packed his belongings.

But now, he is racing against the clock to salvage what he can before the floodwaters start to swell and creep out of the tree lines.

Butte La Rose will soon be a ghost town. Residents are packing up and heading out.

“It’s just a somber mood. Everybody’s just doing what they got to do,” Watermeyer said. “At least we have time to get out.”

After the town meeting in the town firehouse, Kelli Trimm stood next to her husband sobbing.

Watermeyer says he plans on sticking around Butte La Rose until the water starts to touch his newly painted “Last Dance” camp sign.

He wants to take that picture, then pack up the sign and head for higher ground.

But Watermeyer makes it clear he will be back, even if it will take weeks.

“It’s not going to be the last dance, it’s not going to be. We’ll dance again around here,” he says.

Cajun country prepares for 15 feet of water

25,000 people hurriedly pack their things and worry that their way of life might soon be drowned

To try to protect heavily populated areas from the bulging Mississippi River, federal engineers are close to opening a massive spillway that would flood hundreds of thousands of acres in Louisiana Cajun country.

To try to protect heavily populated Baton Rouge and New Orleans from the bulging Mississippi River, federal engineers are close to opening a massive spillway that would flood hundreds of thousands of acres in Louisiana Cajun country.

With that threat looming, some 25,000 people in an area known for small farms, fish camps, crawfish and a drawling French dialect are hurriedly packing their things and worrying that their homes and way of life might soon be drowned.

The corps could open the Morganza floodway north of Baton Rouge as early as this weekend, a move that would relieve pressure on the city’s levee system.

Opening the gates for the first time in 38 years will unleash the Mississippi on a wild ride south to the Gulf of Mexico through the Atchafalaya River and divert floodwater from the river into the basin’s swamplands, backwater lakes and bayous. Several thousand homes would be at risk of flooding.

Even if engineers decide not to open the spillway, no one seems to doubt that a major flood is bound for Butte LaRose, Krotz Springs, the oil-and-seafood hub of Morgan City and other swampland communities in the Atchafalaya Basin.

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