NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Crews southeast of New Orleans worked feverishly to plug a breach in a 4-foot-high neighborhood levee before winds and high tides could push flood waters onto the main highway in Plaquemines Parish on Monday as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia caused problems throughout southeastern Louisiana.
North of the city, up to 14 inches of rain flooded a trailer park in the village of Tangipahoa. To the southwest, a weak tornado overturned boats in Bayou Dularge.
High water scoured a hole about 5 to 8 feet wide in the small levee protecting the Myrtle Grove subdivision, about a mile from Louisiana Highway 23, said Michael Powell, spokesman for Plaquemines Parish. The two dozen or so houses were safe on pilings 12 to 15 feet high, but water on the streets was too high for anything but big trucks to make it through the streets, he said.
Powell said he’s been told that before Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005, the levee at Myrtle Grove was 2.5 feet high. “In years past, the entire levee would have been overtopped” by Monday’s high water, he said.
In Tangipahoa Parish, homeland security director Dawson Primes said rain flooded a trailer park and nearby neighborhood in the village of Tangipahoa. Although water was 3 to 5 feet deep, it did not get into any houses and only about five trailer homes, and fell by midafternoon, he said.
The rain had one good effect: cutting the threat of wildfires so a statewide burn ban could be lifted, said Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning Jr.
An EF0 tornado with maximum winds estimated at 75 mph overturned four medium-sized boats as it crossed Bayou Dularge and Louisiana Highway 315 nearly 9 miles southwest of the community of Theriot, the National Weather Service said.
Jason Liner estimated that the storm did $10,000 to $15,000 damage to his smaller boats - a 23-foot oyster boat and the 24-foot Carolina skiff he got last year for crabbing.
With oysters selling at $25 a sack and crabs at 75 cents a pound, he hadn’t been able to afford insurance. He said he hoped to work on friends’ boats to earn money for repairs.
“I also lost some crab traps I had stacked on the banks,” he said. “Crab traps are $40 apiece. I lost a hundred.”
Overall, damage was “very minimal,” said Terrebonne Parish emergency director Earl Eues Jr.
Streets flooded parishwide under up to 11 inches of rain, with drainage hampered because a week of southeast winds had pushed water into the bayous, Eues said.
The weather service said street flooding was reported Monday morning in eastern New Orleans and Slidell, where up to a foot of water was reported on Bayou Liberty Road.
Dulac and Leeville in Louisiana and Waveland, Mississippi, reported coastal flooding on roads Sunday, he said, and McComb, Mississippi, reported several roads closed by high water near the Amite County line.
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