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More flooding predicted in LA

Record setting October rains leave some residents sandbagging while others evacuate.

BY MONICA OLIVAS | BOSSIER, LA | November 2, 2009

Officials say more flooding is inevitable in south Bossier Parish, just east of Shreveport, La. Heavy rainfall last week has burdened local levees and already flooded some parts of the area.

Days after last week’s heavy rainfall, residents continued to stack sandbags around their homes. The water continued to rise into Sunday evening when 2,500 residents of northeast Bossier Parrish voluntarily evacuated and at least a dozen homes were damaged.

Lt. Ed Baswell, spokesman for the Bossier Parish sheriff's office, said he is hopeful that would be the worst of it, but admits they expect more flooding this week.

“We have a sandbagging operation. Sand bags are being filled; people are coming to get them and placing them around their homes. Really, it’s a time where we are preparing over the next two or three days,” said Baswell.

The Army Corps of Engineers is working with officials from the Bossier Parish Levee District to help verify the stability of the levees. While the water has overflowed the levees, officials maintain that water has not breached the walls. The National Guard is among the groups responding to the levees and helping to stabilize the walls.

Most local schools and roads were open Monday.

Although the area now has sunny skies, heavy rainfall last week in combination with record setting rainfall in October pushed the local levees and bayous to flood levels. Also, heavy downpours from Arkansas to the north are washing down through streams and bayous and finding their way to Shreveport area levees.

Officials are advising residents to prepare for the worst. This means sandbagging for some, and evacuations for others.

“We have a lot of farmers out there that have livestock and have to move to higher ground,” said Baswell.

The water has slightly receded in northern areas like Carriage Oaks, but officials are still cautious that more flooding is on its way. On Monday, residents living near Flat River and Red Chut Bayou were encouraged to leave their homes.

“We are not out of the woods yet, but the situation is better than it’s been in the last two days,” said Baswell.


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