National Weather Service forecasters are predicting another round of flooding sometime around the first of July, and Bossier Parish officials are making plans now to prepare for a rising Red River.
Craig Ross, hydrologist for the NWS, said heavy rains dumped in the Red River basin by tropical storm Bill could cause the river to crest at 34 feet locally by July 1. Ross delivered the prediction during a Friday briefing at the Bossier Office of Emergency Preparedness.
Although forecasters are calling for another rise in the river, residents in south Bossier Parish may not see waters covering roadways and pastures to the degree of last week’s flooding. During the Friday briefing, Ross said the NWS did not expect a back-up effect on local streams and bayous.
Ross said Lake Bistineau continues a slow fall while Bodcau continues to recede. Red Chute Bayou rose slightly for a brief period, but that was due to heavy rainfall in the area, he said. With the Red River now below flood stage, tributaries are flowing well, Ross added.
In light of the prediction, Bossier Parish Administrator Bill Altimus said the parish highway department’s 410 Mayfield Street headquarters and barn will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. until further notice.
“After hearing the weather service forecast, we’re opening the highway department location on Saturday and Sunday for individuals who may need more sandbags or assistance. We would urge those people whose homes received water during this last flood event to be sure they have plenty of sandbags on hand,” Altimus said.
In addition to the parish highway department location, sandbags will remain available at Elm Grove Elementary School on U.S. Hwy. 71 and at the Tooke Memorial Library in Koran. Both locations are self service.
“We will keep our additional points of distribution well-stocked with sandbags, just in case,” Altimus said.