Morgan City, LA
Although we decided to relax the last couple of days before we left Berwick, we were curious about how high the water levels were along the Atchafalaya River in town, so we took a drive over the bridge that lies between Berwick and the larger, neighboring town of Morgan City. The photo below shows the flood wall in Berwick. The flood wall is gray with light blue flood gates and sits in front of the trees to the right of the photo. Water was only a little way up the wall, which was only a slight increase over what it was when we first arrived in the area 5 days prior.
As we approached the Morgan City side of the river, we could get a better view of their riverfront, and we could see the water was up over the wharf. The water was only a foot or so deep at the base of the flood wall, which is about the same as it was in Berwick. We could also see the Morgan City flood wall had a walkway on top, so we decided to drive into town to take a closer look.
We parked and took the steps to the top of the wall where we could see a depth gauge with the water at the 8.5-foot mark. The gauge is on the wharf where the water is only a few feet deep, and the 8.5-foot depth relates to whatever their reference point is rather than the actual water depth at that point on the wharf.
Flood level in Morgan City is 4 feet. At a level of about 7 feet, the water just starts to overtop the wharf. The level was 7.7 feet when we first arrived, and it was 8.5 feet when we took the above photo. The crest is predicted to be less than 11 feet. The flood walls are at least 18 to 20 feet high, so that means if the water goes up another 2 or 2.5 feet, it will be nowhere near overtopping the flood walls.
The next photo is a view downstream. The wharf, an old abandoned warehouse downstream, and an oil company dock upstream of where we were standing were on the river side of the wall and were flooded, but there was no flooding anywhere on the city side of the wall.
There was no chance of anybody violating this parking ordinance, unless someone tied up their boat.
From the the top of the flood wall we had a good view of the Berwick lighthouse over on the other side of the river. The lighthouse originally stood along the Atchafalaya Bay to the south of Berwick to mark a shoal at the mouth of the bay. Just before WWI, a new channel was cut through the shoal. When a new lighthouse was built to mark the new channel, the old lighthouse was abandoned. In 1987, the town of Berwick rescued the old lighthouse and moved it up the Atchafalaya River next to the town.
After we left the flood wall, we took a short drive through town. The next photo shows a grand old house that was near the river.
Some of the homes in town looked like they hadn't changed a bit over the years. Even though the car needs some work, Paul liked the old De Soto Custom parked in front of the house in the next photo. It is most likely a 1946 to 1948 model.
We had a great time in Cajun Country. We never did get to go on our Cajun swamp tour because every time they thought they were going to have enough people (they needed 8 to make the trip economically feasible), someone cancelled. Finally, on our last day in the area, it looked like we would finally go; but then the Corps of Engineers closed one of locks on the tour route to better control water flow during flooding, and the tour had to be cancelled again. Oh well, now we have an excuse to go back - like we need one.
Our next destination is Shreveport, so stay tuned.