CADDO PARISH, LA (KSLA) - Caddo commissioners will vote Jan. 5 on whether to raise construction elevations along Red River.
If approved, the commission will adopt a new map showing high-water levels based on the flooding of summer 2015 and will require elevations of buildings to be 1.5 feet above the high-water mark.
That June, the river rose 7 feet above flood stage and has crested at least 3 more times since.
"We have a serious problem, and the people that almost flooded I'm afraid are going to flood," Caddo Sheriff Steve Prator, who heads the parish Office of Emergency Preparedness and Homeland Security, recently told Caddo commissioners.
"People are under the misconception that that was a 100-year flood that we had. Times have changed; the river has changed. It was not a 100-year flood. There are going to be more and more floods like that."
There needs to be more strategic thinking on prevention, the sheriff said.
Prator and others have created a flood technical committee to spearhead discussions about the dangers of future flooding. They addressed Caddo commissioners this week about how Red River has become a critical issue, leaving the water nowhere to go but up and over.
"The government needs to be more proactive. The parish, the city and the state need to do more things," Prator said,
"If we almost lost the 70th Street wall along the parkway, then we are going to lose it if we don't do something with it."
Prator and the flood technical committee also are asking the parish to fund a flood study.
"We as leaders have to come up with plans to do something, and I don't have those plans."
The study won't provide solutions, the sheriff said, but it would shed light on just how bad the potential for flooding is in this area.