Backwater flooding a major concern in Natchitoches

Natchitoches Parish residents rush to save homes
KSLA News 12 reporter Nicolette Schleisman had to hitch a ride on a tractor to cover the flooding devastation in Natchitoches Parish
KSLA News 12 reporter Nicolette Schleisman had to hitch a ride on a tractor to cover the flooding devastation in Natchitoches Parish

NATCHITOCHES PARISH, LA (KSLA) - The water on the roads in Natchitoches Parish is so deep you sometimes need a tractor to pass them. The water is coming up from backwater flooding from the Red River.

Bruce Capps and his wife Rebecca live off Johnson Chute Road in Northwest Natchitoches Parish and right now, their home is underwater.

"There was alligators in the yard this morning," said Capps.

Several feet of water has engulfed the home they lived in for 10 years.

"It's kind of just breathtaking, I guess, you just sit there watching it coming and there isn't anything you can do about it," said Capps.

He went on to explain the waters are rising so quickly, "it'll be a boat next time, the tractor won't be able to make it."

They knew this water was coming, and had a few days to get all of their necessities out safe and dry.

"We moved everything out and debated on whether to build levees and stuff but by the time we, it just came so fast, it was too late," said Capps.

The Red River is currently at 40.7 feet in Natchitoches. With two more feet of water expected before the crest and some cannot fathom that idea.

"To see the mass amount of water, to see an area and say wait a minute, there's a road under that, yeah 10 feet under that," said Colonel Mike Edmondson with the Louisiana State Police.

To drive around the affected areas you need a truck with four wheel drive. KSLA News 12 hitched a ride with the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff's Office.

We passed through two and a half to three feet of water on several parish roads. They are prepared for more water and their Emergency Operations Center is ready to be put to use if needed.

"Because it's about being proactively involved, it's about trying to, trying to, I guess predictive analytics. Trying to see what could happen," said Edmondson.

But for Capps, it is now the long waiting game until they can get back home.

"They say the water's going to stay up a while and thanks to family, we were able to get everything out," said Capps.

The river is expected to crest in Natchitoches Parish Friday at 42.5 feet.

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