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A race against time - and water continues in St. James

GRAND POINT – In a race against time and water, people of St. James have spent the better part of the past week hauling and placing heavy sand bags in place in a desperate attempt to hold off Mother Nature.

The water continued to march forward, slowly, but surely and Thursday evening it started to get much closer to the man-protected areas.

The residents in St. James have known since Monday that the water was coming, the question was how much and how quickly.

The good fight continues to be fought – some are still winning, others are losing.

“No water last night, but this is what I wake up to,” said sugar cane farmer Reed St. Pierre as he stood in ankle-deep water in a large shed full of farm equipment that is likely badly-damaged at the least and completely ruined at worst.

His sandbag and pump system was turned on again Thursday to try to keep the water that entered the shed from his home.

“It just gets you,” said Brenda St. Pierre. “We’re trying and trying and it just looks like nothing is going to save it. It took us a lifetime to build this and it’s just hard.”

In Paulina, a street that was easily traversed Wednesday, now required oars and a canoe as water started seeping under the sandbags.

For some it’s been a slow, tortuous move by the water and a long, arduous attempt to keep it at bay.

“The men of St. James Parish, they’re exhausted,” said Dana Roques of Paulina. “They’ve been at it since Saturday and last night it was 10 o’clock and they were still sand-bagging.”

Even with their own homes in danger, the volunteers dash off if they hear of someone whose homes are in immediate peril. One woman said she only knew about five of the small army of volunteers who showed up to protect her home.

“I’m crying,” said Andre Duhe’. “I don’t care about the house; I don’t care about the contents. It’s just the outpouring of this community.”