The above Atchafalaya essay is eye opening about the Mississippi River and how its natural course has swayed back and forth hundreds of miles over the centuries. We have now decided these two rivers should stop moving, but the earth doesn't see it that way. When they hit the gulf, their flow speed lowers, dropping the carried sediment. This causes their mouth to move slightly to an area with less dropped sediment. Humans have built walls attempting to constrain movement, but that may be a long-term losing battle.
Recommended reading, and a nice entry point to McPhee if you haven't read him yet.
Basically that river should take over the bulk of the flow of the Mississippi, but for human intervention, in this case the army Corp of engineers
If the Mississippi were allowed to flow freely, the shorter and steeper Atchafalaya would capture the main flow of the Mississippi, permitting the river to bypass its current path through the important ports of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.“
Not sayin' I'm right, just that I never pronounced it that way and don't remember it commonly being pronounced that way. That was... about 35 years ago, though. The way I remember it, there was no vowel before the CH sound.
Here's a guy going through some Louisiana names and their pronunciations. Skip ahead to hear him pronounce Atchafalaya the way I grew up hearing it.
"Laughy-ette" ...pretty much.
Man I miss good boudin.
So, he said, "This is most closely associated with the Atchafalaya basin..."
Said in that way, you don't notice the "uh" sound preceding it. I'm guessing that's what I'm remembering.
He covered Herbert as a last name, but not Richard.
> With a diamond drill, in a central position, they bored the first of many holes in the structure. When they had penetrated to basal levels, they lowered a television camera into the hole. They saw fish.
I am sorry Shreveport.. I underestimated you ;)