Sen. Cassidy tours flooded River Bluff neighborhood

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Photo by Deputy Josh Cagle, Bossier Sheriff's Office, Public Information Office | Sen. Cassidy and Sheriff Julian Whittington, along with members of the media, take a boat tour of the flooded River Bluff subdivision in Bossier Parish Friday, June 12, 2015.

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D, met with Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington Friday morning for a tour of the flooded River Bluff Subdivision.

His visit to Bossier also included a stop in Shreveport to assess the regional damage caused by the Red River flooding and to meet and help local volunteers. He’s now looking to help the affected families and will push for federal assistance once the request for help is formally made at the state level.

Photo by Deputy Josh Cagle, Bossier Sheriff's Office, Public Information Office | Sheriff Julian Whittington and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D., discuss the current flood state of the River Bluff subdivision in Bossier Parish.
Photo by Deputy Josh Cagle, Bossier Sheriff’s Office, Public Information Office | Sheriff Julian Whittington and U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D., discuss the current state of the River Bluff subdivision in Bossier Parish.

“There’s no substitute for seeing firsthand how people are affected, and how those

who are trying to help those affected are responding,” Cassidy said in a statement to the press. “We must do our best to ensure families have the resources they need to recover their lives.”

On a federal level, Dr. Cassidy also looks to improve the agencies that inaccurately predicted the flood.

He said, “What are the lessons learned and what can we do so this doesn’t happen ever again? What is the Army Corps of Engineers systematic plan and why were NOAA’s predictions off? This is why the Corps must have the appropriate resources, and why families must have access to affordable flood insurance protection programs.”

Information received during Friday’s briefing at the Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness:

  • The upper regions of the Red River appear to be falling according to the National Weather Service. Predictions call for the Red’s level to dip below 36 feet, still above flood stage, by this weekend. Levels could fall by about one foot per day and be in the moderate range by Monday.
  • NWS forecasters say local rainfall is expected across the ArkLaTex this weekend; roughly one-half to one-inch rains are forecast. In the Red River basin (Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma) rainfall between six and 10 inches are forecast. NWS forecasters say rains in that area could take about three weeks to reach Caddo-Bossier and might cause the Red to rise.
  • In Bossier City, equipment is being staged along the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway as a precaution against heavy local rains.
  • Daily flyovers will continue to monitor water levels in the parish.
  • In Bossier Parish, highways 537 and 515 remain closed.
  • Sandbag operations will be cut back, but crews will remain on standby to resume activities if needed. Currently, then parish has nearly 80,000 bags filled and ready for distribution.
  • Water is overflowing the banks of Flat River and seepage from rising waters in south Bossier Parish has Hwy. 71 wet in a couple of places, officials report. Motorists are encouraged to drive with caution on the highway section south of Elm Grove.
  • During his operations report, Bossier HSOEP Deputy Director Gene Barattini of the Bossier HSOEP said 310,000 sandbags have been prepared for distribution since flooding began last week.