Disaster declaration signed for Shreveport, Caddo in preparation for flooding

Disaster declaration signed for Shreveport, Caddo in preparation for flooding
A flood preparation meeting was held Friday at the Caddo Parish Emergency Operations Center. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)
A flood preparation meeting was held Friday at the Caddo Parish Emergency Operations Center. (Source: Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office)

CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Officials on the Caddo side of the Red River met Friday to discuss impending flooding issues and review ongoing efforts to assist citizens in the coming weeks.

Sheriff Steve Prator, director of the Caddo Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, hosted the meeting at the Emergency Operations Center.

Attending were representatives from city, parish, and state agencies including law enforcement, fire, public works, hospitals, and emergency relief organizations.

The National Weather Service reported that the Red River is expected to crest at 34 feet on June 6 due to above-normal rainfall in the Red River Basin and high waters flowing into the Red from Texas and Oklahoma tributaries. High levels of water could be expected until the end of July or early August, NWS reps said.

Caddo Parish Commission President Lyndon B. Johnson and Mayor Ollie Tyler signed a declaration of disaster for Caddo Parish and the City of Shreveport. This declaration has been submitted to the Governor's Office and opens up the ability to access state and federal resources if needed.

"This is a pretty historical level of water that we're going to be seeing," said Robert Jump with Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. "We haven't seen the Red River rise to that level since 1990."

"We are going to get into the beginning portion of next week before we see any major tasking that I would ask of the National Guard," said Jump.

In the meantime, they are focused on the emergency plan which includes calling all impacted citizens.

"We'll take the notification process all the way down to a deputy, police, officer, fireman, knocking on doors," said Jump.

Over the next week, areas in Caddo Parish where additional flooding could occur making some roads impassable are:

Russell Road near I-220

MLK Drive at McCain Creek

Clyde Fant Parkway at 70th Street

Apartment buildings along the Parkway are not expected to flood; however, roadways leading into the complexes could be impacted.

The area of Bert Kouns at East Kings Hwy., behind LSU-S, to East Kings at LA Hwy. 1 could also have flooding inside the levees and experience water issues on the landward side.

Water is expected to continue to rise near the Downtown Riverfront reaching up to the roadway and Splash Park.

Weather experts said Wallace Lake is not affected by the Red River and is expected to recede by this weekend if rain holds off.

Public boat launches on Red River in Caddo Parish are closed.

Sheriff Prator said while there is no mandate to stay off the river for those who have private launches, for citizen and deputy safety it is recommended to suspend boating activities on the Red for the time being.

Sandbags are available at the following locations:*

Caddo Public Works Fleet Services
1701 Monty Street, Shreveport
Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Phone: 226-6936, extension 7

Caddo Public Works (South)
11928 Greenwood-Springridge Road
Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Phone: 925-9558

Caddo Public Works (North)
108 Finley Drive, Vivian
Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Phone: 375-2464

City of Shreveport Streets and Drainage
3825 Mansfield Road
Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday, 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Phone: 673-6330

*20 bags per household and 50 per business as long as supplies last

To stay safe during a flood, officials say:

Don't walk through moving water. Six inches of moving water can make you fall. If you have to walk in water, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.

Don't drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground, when water is not moving or not more than a few inches deep. You and the vehicle can be swept away quickly. If your vehicle is trapped in rapidly moving water, stay in the vehicle. If the water is rising inside the vehicle, seek refuge on the roof.

Don't drive around road barriers; the road or bridge may be washed out.

Stay away from power lines and electrical wires. Electrical current can travel through water. Report downed power lines to your utility company or local emergency manager.

Some appliances, such as television sets, can shock you even after they have been unplugged. Don't use appliances or motors that have gotten wet unless they have been taken apart, cleaned, and dried.

Keep flashlights and fresh batteries nearby.

Keep an emergency kit with enough water and food for at least three days. The kit should also include medications and pet supplies.

Have a weather radio pre-tuned for weather information.

Stay tuned to local TV and radio stations for the most current information.

Watch for animals, especially snakes. Small animals that have been flooded out of their homes may seek shelter in yours.

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