Many Central residents were hopeful Saturday morning that the water they had watched creeping into their yards all night would stop rising before infiltrating their homes.
Heavy rain over the last couple days had swollen the Amite and Comite rivers, threatening flooding in some Central residential areas.
By Friday night the expectations were that the Comite River would hit its crest, or highest point before starting to recede, at 30.5 feet. By Saturday morning residents in the Winchester subdivision heard that had been lowered to 28 feet and then just a couple hours later the forecast was dropped to 26 feet on the Comite.
“Overall, from what they predicted last night, we really dodged a bullet,” said Central Mayor Jr. Shelton.
In the Winchester subdivision Saturday morning, Trudy Campbell watched as the water lapped at her rose bushes and at the first step onto her porch. After living in her house for the past 23 years, Campbell knows her flood stage levels and what levels where her home will be safe, and when it’s time to move the furniture.
“We flood at 27.4 feet,” she said. So when she heard the forecast had been lowered to 28 feet Saturday morning, she joined her husband in being hopeful that they could make it with the assistance of just a few sandbags.
“It creeps up differently every single time,” she said remember the floods during Tropical Storm Allison in 2001 and Hurricane Gustav in 2008. “The tears come down when the water is in the house, because then it’s real.”
This time, she said she didn’t believe it would get to that point.
What the flood did bring out, she said, was kindness. On Friday, she said, groups of people in Central came out to the neighborhood asking if anyone needed help. They an older woman on the block with moving her furniture and other property off the ground level.
“It warmed my heart,” she said.
Trudging through the flooded street, Joseph and Kim Rome and her sisters Lindi Bay and Kristie Cooper were on their way to their cars to head to the grocery store. The Rome’s home was at the back of the street where more flooding was occurring, but they said so far only the barn had flooded and the water was a good way from the house.
At a 26-foot stage, there should be water in the house, but it was at 26 feet Saturday morning and it was still a ways off, indicating that something about the flood pattern or how the stage is measured has changed, Joseph Rome said.
In the 40 years the family has lived in the house, they said there have only been six floods that brought water into the house and only two were really bad – 1983 and 2001.
They weren’t worried this time because they’d done all they could do.
“We know it happens and we choose to live here,” Joseph Rome said.
Over on Frenchtown Road, another trouble spot for flooding, residents were still making their way through slightly flooded roads.
Mayor Sheldon said they didn’t have any reports of water getting into any of the homes on the road so far and overall the city fared very well. He credited law enforcement, firefighters and residents for handling the situation well as well as the Department of Public Works employees who were out all night monitoring conditions and keeping roads open as long as possible.
Follow Amy Wold on Twitter @awold10.