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Southern states total new losses

BY GEORGE PIPER | BATON ROUGE, La. | February 1, 1999

BATON ROUGE, La. (Feb. 1, 1999) -- State emergency management officials in

Louisiana and Mississippi are totaling damage from weekend flooding and

preparing for more as overflowing rivers make their way south.

High waters affected more than 100 homes statewide in Louisiana, said a

spokesman for the Louisiana Office of Emergency Management. LOEM personnel

are gathering data for an accurate tally.

It's a similar story in Mississippi, where scattered damage is creating

several mini-disasters, said Clif Lusk, lead public information officer for

the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.

A storm system late last week dumped as much as 15 inches of rain in

Louisiana, prompting flooding in much of the northern half of the state.

The same rain passed through Mississippi, which faced its second serious

storm in the past two weeks. Isolated flooding hit also hit parts of

Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee and Texas.

One person died near Hattiesburg, Miss., when a vehicle drove off the road

and into a creek. Another death occurred in Alabama when a youth became

trapped near a sewer drain.

But Louisiana and Mississippi appear to have sustained the majority of

property damage. Spokespersons in both states said Monday, however, that

assessments are ongoing.

Preliminary National Weather Service reports for Friday's flooding indicated

two to three feet of water flooded homes near Monroe and similar water

levels in homes in Montgomery and Shreveport were reported; 20 homes saw

three to four feet of water in Natchitoches as well as several in Bossier

City. NWS data shows flooding of farmland along rivers in both states.

Flooding is projected later this week, although damage may not be as bad in

southern Louisiana, where the rivers run wider. NWS issued flood warnings

were issued for much of the region.

Near-record flooding could occur along the Little River communities of

Georgetown, Zenoria and Rochelle in central Louisiana on Tuesday, according

to the NWS. Water levels there could reach their highest marks since the

December 1982 floods. Also, some 200 homes face water damage around Lake

D'Arbonne in Farmersville, La.

The Sabine River on the Texas/Louisiana border could reach its highest

level in 10 years and affect Burkeville, Bon Weir, Deweyville and Orange in

Texas. Flooding is already occurring in parts of Burkeville, and

evacuations are ordered for Deweyville, which is expected to flood on

Wednesday.

In Mississippi, the NWS said the Calcasieu River near Oakdale could jump

its banks Tuesday and flood riverside homes, and the Pearl River could

flood homes in the town of Pearl River the same day. Floodwaters also

threaten homes on Wednesday near Cumbest Bluff on the Pascagoula River in

southern Mississippi.

Posted Feb. 2, 1999


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