More Bossier residents get evacuation warning

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Bayou levels not seen in almost two decades could hit the homes and neighborhoods near the Red Chute Bayou in south Bossier Parish.

On Monday, phones in south Bossier Parish started ringing, and an automated message urged them to evacuate their homes. The advisory includes the area from Highway 154/157 south to the Loggy Bayou Bridge and west to the Red River.

And, as of Tuesday morning, the advisory is still in effect.

Bossier Parish engineer Butch Ford said it's possible we could see flooding similar to levels reached during the flood of 1991.

During a briefing Monday morning, Bossier City Fire Chief Sammy Halphen said the work to keep the Red Chute Bayou levee from breaching inside and to the north of Bossier City was going well. He said according to emergency preparedness officials who are watching the Red Chute, it has not crested yet.

"The Red Chute is not holding steady. In fact, it continues to rise as far as we can tell, but with the spillover, remember ... that top over is hard to judge where the actual rise and fall is."

While people may see dry homes and no flooding taking place in the Bossier City neighborhoods that sit near the levee, more water could easily be on the way since Bodcau Bayou, which feeds the Red Chute, isn't suppose to crest until Thursday.

Halphen said if the levee breaks, homes will flood.

"If you remember in New Orleans, the flooding did not occur immediately. It was days after the storm. And so we're being very, very serious and watching very closely because we don't want a repeat of any of that."

Halphen also said officials knew folks along parts of the Sligo Road and Caplis-Sligo Road area were fighting their own flooding battle because of Red Chute. Over the weekend, the parish began a sandbagging operation at Sligo Road and Hwy. 157. Halphen said those areas would get help.

"We'll move on from incident to incident and prioritize which has to be done in an emergent situation and then what comes second, third and fourth. And in the very end, hopefully one day we'll be standing here talking about how it all went and we can all reflect and say it went very well."

Bossier Parish Sheriff Larry Dean said he believed that eight to 15 houses in the area had begun flooding.

Dean also asked for people to stay away from the areas affected by flood water. "If you don't need to be there, don't go there. We need lots of support, lots of love, and lots of prayers, but we don't need a lot of sightseers."

The Red Cross continues to maintain the old Parkway High School as an emergency shelter. Dean said if there's anyone who wants to evacuate but can't, someone would come and get them.  People needing help evacuating can call 965-2203 or 425-5351.

©2009 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.