Safety plans implemented for Red River flood

Courtesy of the Bossier Sheriff's Office | Water approaching a home in the River Bluff subdivison.

Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington, Bossier Mayor Lo Walker and officials from the Bossier Parish Police Jury and Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, along with a host of city, parish and state officials, met at the Viking Drive Substation in Bossier City to solidify safety plans and precautionary measures to address the rising Red River.

Courtesy of the Bossier Sheriff's Office
Courtesy of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office

The river is expected to crest at 34 feet on June 6, according the National Weather Service; the water level of the Red River as of 4 p.m. was 31.65 feet. A brief by the National Weather Service made it clear that the Red River is rising to four feet over flood stage, causing a dangerous situation for any areas along with the river, as well as certain locations in the parish, particularly south Bossier Parish.

Because of this, Sheriff Whittington and officials are better able to address the flooding issues and enact certain measures to help protect residents and their property:

The area that will likely see the most flooding will be from La. Highway 154 and south towards Loggy Bayou and the parish line.  This is because of the backwater flooding that will occur as the Red River rises, leaving nowhere for the water from lower Red Chute Bayou, Flat River and other waterways.  Residents in these areas need to take precautions soon, as the National Weather Service has indicated there will be flooding along those areas.

Cash Point RV Park is under a mandatory evacuation due to a compromise of the sewage system, as well as access to the northern part of the RV park.

Residents in River Bluff subdivision could experience water up to 1 ½ feet on their roadways.

An evacuation shelter was set up Monday afternoon by the American Red Cross at Elm Grove Elementary School to assist displaced residents.

The walking trail along Arthur Ray Teague Parkway will be closed due to its proximity to the river. As well, parking will be prohibited on both sides of the parkway as a safety precaution.   National Weather Service has indicated the banks of the Red River are unstable, the flow of the water is rapid, and officials are telling people to stay away from the river.

Fishing in the flooded portions of the riverfront along the walking trail is also prohibited due to safety concerns.

Courtesy of the Bossier Sheriff's Office | Water is rising at the north entrance at Cash Point RV Park, which  is under a mandatory evacuation due to a compromise of the sewage system, as well as access to the facility.
Courtesy of the Bossier Sheriff’s Office | Water is rising at the north entrance at Cash Point RV Park, which is under a mandatory evacuation due to a compromise of the sewage system, as well as access to the facility.

Areas that now appear to be less likely impacted by the rising Red River, according to the latest update from the National Weather Service, include the following:

Subdivisions along Sligo Road, to include the Orchard, Lucky Estates, Cane Bend, Shadow Ridge, Caplis Sligo, Plantation Acres and others in those areas.
Dogwood Subdivision
Lake Bistineau
Northwest Louisiana War Veterans Home

For those wishing to move their livestock, you can contact Colton Wilkins at 401-6138, who has offered to arrange safely relocating livestock to his land on Highway 527.  Some 900 livestock have already been relocated to various places.

More than 60,000 sandbags have been filled.  Sandbags are available for Bossier Parish residents at these locations:
Elm Grove Elementary School in south Bossier, anytime.
Bossier Parish Highway Department Maintenance Barn at 410 Mayfield St. in Benton, 7 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Bossier City Public Service Complex at 3223 Old Shed Rd. in Bossier City from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Bossier Sheriff’s Office will establish a forward command operating center at a location off of Highway 71 just south of Elm Grove Elementary School in the next couple of days.

La. Department of Transportation and Development will place high water signs at the appropriate locations and close roads as necessary.  They plan to keep La. Highway 71 open.  Some roads will become impassable, and you should never drive through roadways that have water flowing – turn around, don’t drown.

Once the Red River crests at 34 feet this weekend, it should remain at that level for at least a couple of days, according to the National Weather Service.  The water level will then slowly recede to around 27 or 28 feet where it is anticipated to remain into early August, they say.  Remember, it will still not be too far from the flood stage of 30 feet.

Patrol deputies will continue to monitor the water levels and notify and assist residents.  Sheriff Whittington encourages neighbors to look out for one another and to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 965-2203 if there are any special needs, especially with the elderly and those with medical conditions.