Despite several days of rainfall in Bossier Parish and areas to the north that bring additional water into the area’s streams and bayous, no serious problems with high water have occurred, according to Ian Snellgrove, Director of the Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.
Snellgrove said one of the primary tributaries for directing water flow to the south is Red Chute Bayou. The flow enters through the Corps of Engineers’ Bodcau system which holds water before discharging into Bayou Bodcau, then into Red Chute.
Currently, Snellgrove said, Red Chute Bayou is “…bank full on the northern end of the parish, but is outflowing well as water moves downstream toward the Red River.”
Red Chute flows practically the length of the parish, joining Flat River near Elm Grove. From that point, water continues south to Loggy Bayou before emptying into the Red River about five miles south of Lock and Dam 5.
Another primary source feeding water into the parish tributaries is the Cypress watershed. And on the eastern side of Bossier Parish, Dorcheat Bayou brings water discharged from south Arkansas and a portion of Webster Parish into Lake Bistineau.
Rains to the north, in southeastern Oklahoma and southern Arkansas, also contribute water to the area through both watersheds and Dorcheat. Rising levels in the Red River are also often due to heavy rains in those areas.
“We monitor the water levels on our primary waterways regularly and there’s nothing right now to consider a flood threat,” Snellgrove. “Levels are high in Red Chute, but there’s still plenty of capacity in the bayous. Flat River is not high at all right now. It elevates when we have heavy rainfalls and goes down fairly quickly.”
In addition to the several monitoring stations on parish waterways, Snellgrove is part of a weekly National Weather Service briefing. Updates on weather systems and future patterns are presented and, as needed, BOHSEP notifies parish leadership and plans are prepared accordingly.
During a weather crisis, Snellgrove said daily or special NWS updates and meetings with the parish’s emergency management team are common. Team members include representatives from all parish agencies including public bodies, law enforcement, first responders, state and local emergency assistance and Barksdale Air Force Base.
BOHSEP keeps parish leadership informed so responders in the parish can react as appropriate for the situation, Snellgrove said.