MONTEGUT, La. (AP) -- Waves have eaten a chunk 5 feet deep and 10 to 12 feet wide in a 6-foot wetlands protection levee here, and Terrebonne levee officials have set aside $35,000 to plug the hole with rocks before the winds change and waters rise higher.

The breach will keep some farmers from planting cotton and soybeans in Pointe Coupee Parish, and others have lost wheat and crawfish to floods and heavy rains, Gov. Bobby Jindal told U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer in a letter Monday.

He asked Schafer to declare the parish a disaster area, along with six surrounding parishes: Avoyelles, Concordia, Iberville, St. Landry, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

"As you are aware, the Mississippi River is very high and it is expected to continue rising," and several thousand more acres would be flooded if the Army Corps of Engineers opens the gates to the Morganza Spillway, Jindal wrote. "The producers in the immediate area are severely affected and will suffer significant crop losses."

Wetlands Protection Levee Breached in South Louisiana

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