Long-feared flood rolls toward La. bayou country

May 19, 2011 - 3:13 AM
APTOPIX Mississippi River Flooding

A partially-flooded building is seen on the banks of the Atchafalaya River outside of the levee protection area in Simmesport, La., Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Some of the worst flooding in Mississippi is in the area from Vicksburg northeast to Yazoo City, along the Yazoo River. The Yazoo Backwater Levee north of Vicksburg connects with the main Mississippi River levee. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials had predicted that at least a foot of water could pour over the top, flooding tens of thousands of acres of farmland in the Delta. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

AMELIA, La. (AP) — The oil-and-seafood hub of Morgan City, La., has been hit by one disaster after another, from hurricanes to the BP oil spill. The latest trouble involves a deluge of water that was diverted from the Mississippi River and is headed toward the town of about 12,000 people.

The Army Corps of Engineers, desperate to save Baton Rouge and New Orleans from flooding, opened a spigot on a spillway over the weekend, intentionally flooding this part of Cajun country, an area much less populated. But the cascade of water from the Morganza floodway is hampering the local oil industry and fishermen on the bayou.

And while Morgan City has a 20-foot floodwall that's expected to protect the town, workers have rushed sandbags into place and shored up levees just in case.