BSO: ‘FEMA officials will be in Bossier Parish later this week’

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Photo by Lt. Bill Davis, Bossier Sheriff’s Office | Residents in the River Bluff subdivision are getting their first looks at the damage sustained to their properties from the Red River flood waters.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington and Bossier officials met Monday morning at the Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to brief on flood conditions in the parish and the next step for residents and businesses to move forward.

Phot by  Lt. Bill Davis, Bossier Sheriff’s Office | Water from the Red River is receding from the River Bluff subdivision in Bossier Parish.
Photo by Lt. Bill Davis, Bossier Sheriff’s Office | Water from the Red River is receding from the River Bluff subdivision in Bossier Parish.

Water is receding on the Red River by just more than a foot a day and is anticipated to be at flood stage of 30 feet by Thursday.  Many residents are returning to their homes to begin the restoration process.

The Sheriff’s Office says that FEMA officials will be in Bossier Parish later this week to assess flood damage.

AEP-SWEPCO advised bringing back electricity to residences and businesses may take some time.  Electrical engineers with the city and parish will work with them as quickly as they can to help folks restore their power.  AEP-SWEPCO advises to call (888) 216-3523 with any questions.

The National Weather Service briefed also Bossier officials about the weather system forming in the Gulf of Mexico that could become a tropical storm with landfall in south Texas Tuesday. The effect on this area would come from rains ranging from eight to 10 inches in the Red River basin in the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma from landfall through Thursday.

Photo by  Lt. Bill Davis, Bossier Sheriff’s Office | The National Weather Service briefs Bossier officials on the tropical storm that has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and the potential threat it has on Bossier Parish.
Photo by Lt. Bill Davis, Bossier Sheriff’s Office | The National Weather Service briefs Bossier officials on the tropical storm that has formed in the Gulf of Mexico and the potential threat it has on Bossier Parish.

Although forecasters say the Red River is down to moderate flood stage and should be below 30 feet by Wednesday, additional rain would mean another river rise.

Water levels upstream in Lake Texoma and Lake Hugo are below 100 percent capacity, but potential heavy rains forecast in that area could bring the levels up again. Both lakes experienced the highest levels on record during the recent flooding. National Weather Service forecasters said extremely heavy rains in the Red River basin could produce Red River levels as high as were recently experienced in the Bossier/Caddo area.

Two points of distribution for sandbags, Elm Grove Elementary and the Tooke Memorial Library in Koran, will continue to hold bags as a precaution.

The Red Cross shelter at Elm Grove Elementary School, however, has been disestablished and so have the River Bluff and South Bossier Mobile Command posts. Patrol deputies will maintain presence at locations affected by the flooding.

In north Bossier Parish, Hwy. 537 is now open; Hwy. 515 is still holding water. In south Bossier Parish, Atkins Clark road remains under water, and flood waters remain close to Highways 154 and 157.

Red Chute Bayou and Flat River are still above alert level, but are draining slowly because of high water levels downstream in the Red River.

To report your flood damage, call the Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at (318) 425-5351 between 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. during the week.  You can also go online at www.bossierparishla.gov, click on “Flood Information and Damage Report,” and fill out the form or submit the relevant information listed on the website to this e-mail:  bbaker@bossierparishla.gov.