Several roads that were closed recently because of floodwater from the Mississippi River in West Feliciana Parish remain closed as of Jan. 25, including River Road at Tunica, Cat Island Road at Polly Creek and the low-water bridge at Solitude.
Relentless rain after Christmas in Missouri and Illinois that killed more than 20 people, caused surging water southward along the Mississippi River, and some low-lying areas in West Feliciana have been affected.
The West Feliciana Parish Sheriff’s Office declared a state of emergency on Dec. 30, and an emergency planning meeting at the Parish’s Emergency Operations Center on Jan. 9 featured representatives from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, the Sheriff’s Office, St. Francisville Police Department, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Public Works, parish president and council members, Citizens Corps, Department of Corrections, U.S. Coast Guard, Entergy, River Bend Nuclear Center, St. Francisville officials and Fire Protection District 1.
Brian Spillman, director of the EOC, reviewed floodwater data and impacted areas at the meeting.
Forecasted river levels showed the flooding to be more than in 2008 but below that of 2011, and property owners near the flooded areas were warned that hogs and deer could invade land to get away from the rising water.
According to Col. Randy Metz, of the Sheriff’s Office, since the Mississippi River crested on Jan. 18, floodwater has receded in St. Francisville about 12 inches.
Metz said most of the residents that would have been affected by the flooding have properties that are built up and can access their homes by boat or some other means.
“It’s mostly camps and about three residents that have been affected,” Metz said. “It’s too early to know exactly what was damaged or how much, but it appears to be mostly uninhabited structures such as sheds and camps.”
Metz said Monday that low-lying areas in and around St. Francisville will continue to be monitored.
DEMCO shut off power to about 45 customers in the Cat Island area on Jan. 8, but those customers are camps and not primary residences, according to Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Erin Foster.
No evacuations were necessary.
Motorists are urged not to drive on roads inundated with floodwater and to use caution when traveling near flooded areas.
To report flood conditions, call the Emergency Operations Center at (225) 784-3136 or the Sheriff’s Office at (225) 635-3241.