National Weather Service forecasters are predicting potentially heavy rainfall beginning the day after Christmas for areas of northwest Louisiana including Bossier Parish and the surrounding areas.
During a conference call Thursday with parish and Bossier City officials, Craig Rawls of the NWS said rainfall amounts of up to six inches are possible according to long-range computer models. That rainfall is expected to hit the local area Wednesday, Dec. 26 and continue through the 29th.
Rawls said those expected rains will be falling on ground that is already saturated from previous events, and a 75 percent run-off is anticipated locally. Elevated water levels on several streams and lakes may occur, he said, but the Red River is not expected to be impacted seriously.
Residents in areas that historically see high water during heavy rains are urged to keep an eye on the water levels. High water is expected along Red Chute Bayou, Cypress Lake, Bodcau and Lake Bistineau.
Levels on area waterways and lakes are being monitored daily. Sandbags that have been placed at areas along levees are also being inspected and supplies are being replenished in case water levels rise.
Officials said residents on Cypress and Bistineau should take precautions with the possibility of waters invading boat houses, boat ramps and docks.
“It’s really all about location,” Rawls told roughly 40 parish and city officials via phone. “There is a degree of uncertainty about rainfall amounts since we’re predicting so far out. We will be able to reflect more after Christmas.”
Parish and Bossier City officials said sandbags are being prepared and will be available in case waters begin rising in flood-prone areas. In Bossier Parish, bags will be available at the police jury’s maintenance facility, 410 Mayfield St. in Benton during regular hours.
As a convenience for residents, the jury maintenance facility will be open from 8 a.m. until 4p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 22 and 23. Sandbags will also be available at four other locations where storage bins have been placed. Those locations are Fire District 1, Hwy. 80 East in Haughton; Fire Dist. 2, Robertson Rd. near Elm Grove; McKinley Ave. in Haughton and W. Palmetto in Plain Dealing.
Storage bins are self-service. To pick up sandbags, residents should call the chiefs of fire districts 1 and 2, and the mayors of Haughton and Plain Dealing.