CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator on Monday sought to assure those affected by flooding that the parish has not been overlooked by the state or federal government in the process of applying for disaster aid.
"I got a call Saturday from Baton Rouge GOHSEP office, and it discussed the presidential national emergency declaration," Prator said in a media briefing Monday morning, "and it was explained to me that that they grabbed the 7 worst parishes that you could see on the map that had the worst rainfall up here. They grabbed those 7 parishes and submitted them in a small window of opportunity they had, and he said, 'I assure you that Caddo is not left out. I assure you Caddo will be included.'"
"Our application is complete and has been submitted, and we look to be included very soon," added the Sheriff.
So far, Prator says, the parish has submitted an initial list of about 250 names and addresses where flood damage has been reporter or observed.
"That could be everything from an inch in one corner to 6 feet, so we've got that list and it continues to grow." He also says 26 schools have been impacted by the high water, although school official quickly clarified that none of the damage was major.
Bossier Parish is one of seven parishes approved over the weekend for federal assistance for those who have been impacted by flood waters. Other parishes receiving a federal declaration include Claiborne, Webster, Grant, Morehouse, Richland and Ouachita.
Prator added that GOHSEP told him Monday morning that they believe Caddo Parish will be added to the list by Thursday, and reiterated the importance of residents reporting flood damage and beginning the process of applying for disaster aid as soon as possible.
That can be done by email to the Caddo Parish Sheriff's Office at email@example.com or by calling (318) 675-2255.
Click here for more information about how and where to report flood damage in Caddo and other flood-damaged areas in Northwest Louisiana.
Citizens who would like to begin the recovery process with FEMA can register in advance, either at the FEMA website, www.disasterassistance.gov, or by phone at 1-800-621-3362.
On Saturday, Caddo Parish Sheriff and OHSEP Director Steve Prator warned that predictions for crests at Twelve Mile Bayou and Caddo Lake are as much as a foot higher than originally expected. As of Monday morning, Prator said Caddo Lake was expected to crest later in the day.
"Twelve Mile Bayou hopefully will crest today, too. Then we have some backwaters that we still have to deal with, historically. And we know that those are. This is a much greater height than we've seen Twelve Mile Bayou and Caddo in quite some time, many many years."
Twelve Mile Bayou is expected to reach 39 feet and cause major flooding by early morning Tuesday.
The flooding from Twelve Mile Bayou back in June inundated homes in Allendale and parts of the MLK neighborhood. Flooding is expected in those areas and parts of Lakeside, as well. Prator noted on Monday morning that the parish did not meet the threshold for disaster aid in June, but that "we will this time."
Cross Lake and Wallace Lake have crested over the weekend and are now receding, but not before doing damage to some homes.
Deputies have worked around the clock, monitoring roads and assisting in rescues and evacuations all over the parish since Wednesday, and Prator says those emergency responders are still answering calls for help in some areas.
The Red Cross of Northwest Louisiana is still operating a shelter at Southern University in Shreveport for those who need a place to stay. Red Cross will be doing mobile damage assessments in affected neighborhoods throughout the day and dropping off bulk supplies like cleaning items and toiletries. A fixed site to obtain such items is in the works and should be announced by tomorrow.
If you would like to volunteer or need information on services available to those affected by flooding, go to www.lincc.us. The Louisiana Initiative for Non-profit and Community Collaboration is a project of the Community Foundation of North Louisiana. Citizens impacted by flooding can use the website to locate food pantries, clothing, baby items, showers, laundry, and help with clean up. The site is expected to be updated by 4 p.m. today.
Sandbags in Caddo Parish are still available around the clock at 1701 Monty Street, until 5 p.m. at 108 Finley Drive in Vivian, and at the Mooringsport Boat Ramp.