JEAN LAFITTE, La. — Up to 400 people were trapped by rising waters in Jean Lafitte, and search and rescue crews have been helping people escape throughout Hurricane Ida's landfall, officials said Monday morning.
Homes in Jean Lafitte that have never been flooded saw eight feet of water, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joe Lopinto said during an impromptu press conference on Laffite-Larose Highway, where rescue boats are using the flooded roadway to reach Laffite.
Deano Bonano, former Jefferson Parish Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness director and current Jefferson Parish councilman, told reporters that the flooding in Laffite is unprecedented.
The first few residents evacuated were tired and glad to be out of the waters, Bonano said.
"The water has never ever been this high," Bonano said.
Volunteers are welcome to come help, Sheriff Lopinto said. But they have to be equipped with the right water vessels. However, the sheriff said they have enough resources available.
While there is no communication available to people in Laffite, firefighters rescued several residents who were trapped in attics Sunday night, as Hurricane Ida's storm surge overpowered Laffite's local levees.
The levee system protecting the New Orleans Metro Area, which doesn't protect Lafitte performed well, Lopinto said.
As the water recedes, Jefferson Parish rescue crews will go house to house to help people who choose to leave.
Most structures built on elevated stilts were still intact, Lopinto said. No major injuries were reported.
The sheriff expressed his faith in Jefferson Parish residents, saying with confidence that South Louisiana is a great place to live.
"Some days you live on the water; some days the water lives on you," Lopinto said.