BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - The Red River is expected to reach 30-feet, or flood stage, in Shreveport at roughly 2:00 a.m. Sunday, May 31, according to the National Weather Service. The river is expected to crest on Saturday, June 6 at 34 feet.
That updated news has forced the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office into action. That's because a level of 34 feet would mean 18 inches of water inside the sheriff's substation, located at the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway boat launch.
So, starting at 7:00 on Saturday, May 30, crews will begin putting up 3,500 sandbags around the building to protect it from flooding. Those sandbags are expected to be piled three and a half feet high around the entire building. We're told the job should be completed by late Saturday afternoon.
Before the Bossier Sheriff's substation can be surrounded by sandbags this weekend, all the emergency equipment essential for rescue efforts will have to be moved elsewhere.
"We're going to move some of it just two or three miles up the road to our Viking Drive substation," Sheriff Julian Whittington explained. "We have a command post that we've designated down on (Highway) 71 closer to the actual water. We'll move some of it down there at the appropriate time."
Sandbags are also being made available to residents.
"I know they have some available at Elm Grove school for the public," said Sheriff Whittington.
"Get all you want. We're working around the clock with inmates helping them sandbag. And, I think the city's also out there on Shed Road. So, sandbags will be available for anyone that wants them."
Whittington has one message for all parish residents, including those who experienced flooding in the past and especially anyone living south of Highway 527 in south Bossier Parish: "To watch the weather and be prepared and start making a plan."
Drew Lefler has a farm in south Bossier Parish and says the rising water levels create a domino effect. "Our problem now is that all of our drains and tributaries are starting to back up, so our water that's in the field can't go anywhere."
And with all the rainfall, Lefler told us that much of the farming land has remained too saturated to do any field work.