Round 2: Parish prepares for more flooding

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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 Parish residents have already begun the process of cleaning up after the historic Red River flood, but a second wave of waters threatens the area again.

The National Weather Service is predicting another flood due to heavy rains dumped in the Red River basin by tropical storm Bill. Predictions indicate the Red River could rise to a 34-foot crest by July 1, meaning some residents could see waters threatening their homes again.

The good news, Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said, is that the parish has “time to adjust” and prepare before the water arrives. However, news of a second flood was not what residents along the river wanted to hear.

Homes in River Bluff, Buckhall and Cash Point that were drenched in the first round could see a repeat of that flooding.

“They were not happy when they learned of a 34-foot crest,” Whittington said. “A lot of them are in the process of getting builders in there and trying to build their lives back. It’s going to be a delay.”

Whittington said about 20 homes have water and although the river crest isn’t forecast to reach 37 feet, “…it’s still going to put (water) back in 10 to 12 of those homes.”

Some homeowners who saw water reach their homes have opted to keep their sandbags in place, a move that Bossier officials are urging all residents to do.

“At 34 feet, we have a good idea of who will be affected. They certainly will know and they’re bracing for it,” Whittington said. “It’s not good news, but it could have been worse.”

South Bossier should be able to breathe a little easier this round. The number of days between the first and second crest will allow Dorcheat, Flat River and all the bayous to flow into the Red River normally before the water rises again.

“We don’t anticipate any more problems down there,” he said. “Primarily, that’s not a risk any longer.”

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.

“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.