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METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — Just minutes after Jean Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner, Jr., called WGNO News to plead for assistance in helping rescue what he believes to be up to 200 residents stranded due to rising water, Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng echoed Kerner’s concerns.

“We really believe the calls coming in here to our emergency operations center, is that people are in attics in Lower Lafitte,” said Sheng regarding the residents in need of rescue in the small Jefferson Parish community along the Bayou Barataria.

“So that is certainly for this area up here in upper Jefferson, that is the priority for the search and rescue teams as soon as they can safely get to that area,” she added.

Just 30 minutes earlier Kerner spoke of water topping the 7.5-foot flood wall and the town losing its school the community was in “total devastation.”

Sheng said despite the hurdles the parish is currently facing, rescue teams are standing by and ready to help.

“We don’t have any electricity, it’s pitch darkness outside,” said Sheng. “Obviously, it’s a big undertaking. We need to make sure the roads are clear. They need to bring out the boats and the high-water vehicles.

“We are fortunate to have a strong first-responder team with our Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, our firefighters on the East Bank and the West Bank, and also with our Louisiana National Guard that’s here and ready to help out.”