Severe weather is forecast to hit the northwest Louisiana area Saturday morning, complete with heavy thunderstorms, high winds and the potential for tornadoes.
Forecasters with the National Weather Service (NWS) indicated the local area could receive up to three inches of rain through Saturday with the potential for isolated downpours that could increase that total. This rainfall will come on the heels of amounts ranging from four to six inches over the past 48 hours.
During an emergency preparedness meeting of the Bossier Parish Unified Command Friday, forecasters said the Red River at Shreveport was expected to crest around 31 feet Monday. River levels could go higher depending on rainfall amounts farther north in the Red River basin of Oklahoma and north Texas.
Command members were told Friday that another round of rain is expected to hit the area Tuesday and potentially continue through Thursday. Rainfall amounts between one and perhaps five inches are forecast.
Homeowners inside the levee system of the Red are encouraged to keep an eye on the river level and be prepared to take the proper precautions. Also, camp and homeowners along Lake Bistineau are urged to move boats from boathouses and to closely monitor rising waters to determine if evacuation is necessary.
Currently, the forecast is calling for Lake Bistineau to crest at 144 feet by March 3. Flood stage on the lake is 142.5. Area boaters are reminded that during high water, a no-wake zone is enforced on all lakes.
Livestock owners, especially in southern Bossier Parish, are urged to keep an eye on the rising waters and to quickly determine if animals may need to be moved to higher ground.
Bossier Parish highway department workers and parish inmate volunteers are currently preparing additional sandbags that will be available to the public. Sandbags can be picked up at the Police Jury’s maintenance facility at 410 Mayfield St. in Benton until 8 p.m. Friday.
Highway department crews will be working Saturday in case of emergency. The maintenance facility will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. if individuals need sandbags.
Sandbags are also available at satellite locations in the parish. Storage bins are located at the Fire District 1 station on Hwy. 80 east in Haughton, at south Bossier Fire Dist. 2 on Robertson Rd. near Elm Grove, at McKinley Ave. in Haughton and W. Palmetto in Plain Dealing. Bags are available on a self-service basis.
In Bossier City, residents can pick up sandbags from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday at the city’s Public Service Complex, 3223 Shed Rd.