As we all know by now, our area made history this week. As the Red River reached it’s ever changing crest on Monday morning at around 37 ft., some 7ft. above flood stage, this current Red River flood became the second worst in modern history. The 38.3 ft. flood crest from 1945 still stands as the worst flood in our modern history. However, this present day flood came scarily close to eclipsing that mark. Some of us are likely to never see a flood of this magnitude again in our lifetimes. Yes, we made history, but the wrong side of history.
My heartfelt prayers and concern are extended to all of those effected by the
flooding on both sides of the Red River. May God be with you all and help you all in the days and months ahead as you sort through this awful mess. Our homes and possessions are vitally important to us all and anything that jeopardizes or places our possessions in peril, be it flooding, high winds, hail, or tornados. However, human life is always the most important possession of all. This is something that we should all remember in times like these. As long as we still have our lives and God in our lives, everything is always going to be ok…No matter what!
Truly, we will all be dealing with this flood for quite some time. For those who have property damage and other losses that can be attributed to this flood, you will suffer much more than those of us who are not in such a position. However, due to street closures (and the resulting traffic congestion), businesses and attractions that are closed, etc., all of us are dealing with this flood in one form or another. In Bossier City, both I-220 westbound and the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway are closed at this time. As such, many motorists are having to alter their normal travel routes.
As I was driving across I-220 eastbound from Shreveport into Bossier City early Monday morning coming off of the Red River bridge, I noticed that all of the land where cattle used to be clearly visible from the roadway is now underwater and the pastureland now looks to be a part of the flowing Red River.
According to forecasts, water levels will stay high for quite some time, even though the river is now receding. I also noticed that over on the westbound side of I-220, parts of both westbound lanes are underwater. A little bit further east, I-220 eastbound has water up to the shoulder of the roadway in many places between the Red River and Benton Road.
Something else that will also have to be dealt with are the snakes, alligators and other forms of wildlife looking to seek refuge from the high water levels. Additionally, the mosquitos and bugs are going to be much more prominent than normal too.
The Red River has dealt us an awful blow with all of the flooding over the past few days. As a result, we all now have memories that will last a lifetime due to this historic event. However, we must also remember that the river is still our friend. As has been mentioned in several of my previous columns, we are heavily dependent upon the Red River for: water supply, fishing/recreation and economic development.
In closing, I would also like to commend ALL of our area law enforcement and emergency preparedness officials, as well as the Louisiana National Guard, for the tremendous work that they do in coming together to keep us all as safe as possible! These individuals continuously put their own safety at risk in many cases to protect all of us. THANKS to you for the outstanding jobs that you do in keeping us both safe and informed in times of emergency/urgency and in normal times as well.
Randy Brown is Publisher of the Bossier Press-Tribune. He can be reached at email@example.com