POSTED: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 4:49pm
UPDATED: Monday, May 23, 2011 - 5:18pm
BUTTE LA ROSE, La (NBC33) — For James Dupre, there's no place like home. "It come no better than Butte La Rose! Everybody's happy here," he says.
But Dupre has been told he and his neighbors need to get out of town. The St. Martin Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness issued a mandatory evacuation for the town Tuesday at noon. Starting then, no one will be allowed back in the town until the area is safe from flood waters.
"We took everything from our home," says Dupre. "We didn't want to take a chance. They told us we had to go. They gave us the papers. We did what they asked us to do."
Many, like Dupre, moved out a week ago to avoid the Atchafalaya River flood waters creeping into their backyards. "Everybody's staying calm about it," says Butte La Rose resident Makin Breaux.
Some say, it's an inevitable situation. "We've all got to take Mother Nature's medicine sooner or later," says Dupre.
Others aren't so sure. They say the mandatory evacuation has been confusing, and they're not really sure it's necessary. "Where the water stage is, it's giving doubts to everybody," says Linda Breaux. "The mandatory has been lifted, put on, lifted, put on. We're ready to come back."
Breaux and her family left a week ago, like Dupre, but they're not sure they'll follow the rules next time. "We're not leaving if this happens again, because they predict one thing and then nothing's happening like they predicted."
Breaux says many people in the area spent a lot of money moving their furniture and families away from the town for the time being. They think the water levels won't reach as high as originally expected.
No matter what happens for these residents, many say, flood or not, they're sure they'll be going home. "I ain't saying goodbye," says Dupre. "When we come back, we'll start over. If we have to rebuild, we'll rebuild. It won't be easy, but we'll do what we've got to do."
Displaced residents in need of shelter are being asked to contact the information lines at the St. Martin OHSEP at (337) 394-2810 or (337) 394-2811.
Also visit www.stmartinohsep.org  for flood updates in St. Martin Parish. You can also follow the most up-to-date information on evacuations and flood prep on their Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Martin-Parish-Office-of-Homeland-Security-and-Emergency-Preparedness/103324999706205?ref=ts