Letter from Lower St. Martin
The water in Belle River has come up but it’s not a huge problem yet, more a nuisance.
It’s over my seawall and into my yard just a little. One place on Highway 70 between here and Stephensville sports those orange cones marking a place where the water is on the side of the road but not yet in the lanes. Stephensville actually looks worse with a few private pumps visibly getting water out of yards and sandbags evident in many places. Mostly, so far, it’s just to drain yards. Camps along Highway 70 have no yards left, but the water isn’t deep.
One of the Food for Senior ladies came last week and said the Four Mile Bayou road was under water in some places but Leroy Gros already told me it was passable with care. I drove through water running across a Stephensville road then realized it was coming from a plastic pipe pumping out someone’s yard.
As I drove to Stephensville the other day, I watched a man park his truck on the margin of the highway, unload his pirogue and pile in all his crawfish equipment as he launched into the ditch and I guess on into the woods along the road.
Mr. Paulma Johnson came to the last Food for Senior distribution and said he’ll come back to Belle River on May 29 when next the food boxes come. Quite a few people came for energy assistance. People joked (half seriously) about getting help with their gasoline bills.
Crawfishing in the spillway is picking up considerably. Talked to one “big” Pierre Part fisherman who is regularly catching 30-plus sacks up on Grand Lake. He has over 1000 traps out but I don’t know how many he ran to get those sacks. The price to the fisherman is either 80 or 85 cents right now.
One man said when the price of crawfish rose to $1.00 a pound, he quit his plant job and the very next day the price dropped to 85 cents. He said he’s getting really big crawfish off the sandbars. I know this guy and he likes to fish way more than he likes to work in a plant and he’s good at both.
The Belle River landing has gotten worse but is still usable. At least one launch ramp can be used though people say they get water in the back end of their trucks so you can sort of imagine how far into the water they have to back.
LOOK FOR LINDA COOKE'S COLUMN, "BAJA ST. MARTIN," ON THE LOCAL PAGE OF TECHETODAY.COM, AND OF COURSE IN THE PAGES OF THE TECHE NEWS.