LA governor's staffers eyeball flooding risk in Bossier, Caddo

Emergency responders assess NWLA flood risk
Representatives of the Louisiana governor's office were in Bossier, Caddo parishes Feb. 28 to see firsthand the potential for flooding in the area. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Representatives of the Louisiana governor's office were in Bossier, Caddo parishes Feb. 28 to see firsthand the potential for flooding in the area. (Source: KSLA News 12)

BOSSIER/CADDO PARISHES - Representatives of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards' office were in Bossier City today to meet with local agency officials preparing for possible flooding.

"We need to hear from on the ground as far as what they are watching, what they are paying attention to," said Casey Tingle, deputy director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

"On behalf of the governor, to commend them our support and any additional support they need from the state."

In Bossier City, officials are keeping an eye on Red Chute Bayou levee in the Dogwood area. Sandbags are being put out there.

Fire Chief Brad Zagone told city and parish leaders that sandbags are placed at strategic locations on the bayou levee in the Dogwood area. Equipment is being staged at the Fire Department's training center on Shed Road.

Levee board workers, Bossier Police Jury crews and Bossier Parish inmates will start laying the sandbags Thursday and continue to do so seven days a week.

"Right now, these are protective measures that will help if we got heavier rains than expected," Zagone said.

They also are watching for possible flooding in rural areas of south Bossier.

Edwards' representatives flew over some of the flooded waterways on their way into Bossier Parish.

In Caddo Parish, Twelve Mile Bayou and Caddo Lake are the big concerns.

State workers toured Shreveport's Riverview Park, one of the many venues along Red River that consistently have flooded in recent years, before leaving the area.

"There's gotta be a long-term solution," Shreveport CAO Brian Crawford said. "Mayor (Ollie) Tyler wants to work with Gov. Edwards on whatever that solution is.

"We've seen a flood 3 times in the last 4 years that they only saw in the last 50 years prior to that."

Emergency officials say they are prepared for a few more inches of rain and don't anticipate any major flooding.

"Good information allows us to adequately plan," Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington said.

"We've got too much practice because of 2015 and 2016. And we know what's gonna happen and when it's gonna happen," explained Robert Jump, of the Caddo OHSEP.

"Obviously things change a little bit but too much practice. So we are prepared. Even though the river may be at a certain crest, or our bayous at a certain crest and forecasted to go to a certain feet, our offices are looking beyond that," he added.

Earlier this week, the governor's office declared a state of emergency in Bossier, Caddo, Natchitoches and seven other parishes.

That allows the state to share resources with the parishes.

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