Bossier Sheriff: Red Chute has crested, evacuations now voluntary

Published: Mar. 13, 2016 at 3:56 PM CDT|Updated: May. 8, 2016 at 3:56 PM CDT
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A view from above of Red Chute Bayout at the Dogwood Bridge. (Source: John Phelan)
A view from above of Red Chute Bayout at the Dogwood Bridge. (Source: John Phelan)
(Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA News 12)
(Source: Nick Lawton, KSLA News 12)
(Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office)

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington says the Red Chute Bayou Crested Sunday morning at 25.25 feet and that the levee has not overtopped.

As a result, Whittington says the mandatory evacuation order has been downgraded to voluntary, but warned that the danger remains.

"It's going to be with us for a while. This is not going to go away anytime soon. The Red River now has been elevated to a moderate level,  31 and a half feet. That's something to be concerned about. Obviously, if the water in the Red River is high and it can't flow out, that's cause for concern."

Bossier Schools Superintendent DC Machen says classes will resume Monday, with excused absences for students and employees affected by the flooding.

"We recognize that there will be students and employees who will not be able to return to school or work due to being displaced. While students and employees impacted by these uncontrollable circumstances will be given excused absences, it is imperative that parents notify their child's school and keep open communication about the need for extended absence. It is also critical for employees to personally contact their supervisor and not depend on the automated absence reporting."

Machen detailed plans for transportation in light of some roadways still being closed to flooding and safety concerns, as well as the need for donations to help students who may have lost uniforms and school supplies. Click here to for details.

State Sen. Ryan Gatti also addressed concerns for Lake Bistineau residents, assuring them that help is on the way.

"Word today is it may take 5 or 6 days for the water to recede," Gatti said. "It's just really hard to get in there with the water rising so high."

In the meantime, Gatti urged them to call 911 if they have an emergency.

Watch the briefing live on KSLA News 12, or streaming live on our mobile apps or on KSLA.com beginning at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Mobile users can click here