SHREVEPORT — The Caddo Parish sheriff’s house is among dozens flooded in northwest Louisiana as Oklahoma and Texas floodwaters swell the Red River, and authorities were considering whether to evacuate a veterans’ home with 144 residents.
The veterans and their caretakers probably will be able to stay, but ZBossier Parish officials had not decided the matter Sunday evening, Bill Davis, spokesman for the parish sheriff’s office, said in a phone interview. The building is dry but much of the land around it is flooded, The Times reported.
The river will crest at 37 feet on Monday, higher and later than predicted earlier, and the highest since April 1945, the National Weather Service said Sunday.
The crest is expected to last at least two days, and the Red probably won’t go below the 30-foot flood stage at Shreveport before the end of June, meteorologist Dayvon Hill said in a phone interview with The Associated Press.
“The river’s going to stay pretty high at least through the end of the month — and, I suspect, even parts of July as well. It’s going to be a slowwwww, long process to get rid of this water,” he said, stretching the word. “That would be under ideal conditions, without any more precipitation — or, God forbid, any tropical systems.”
Davis said about a dozen homes and 30 RVs in Bossier Parish had water in them Sunday, and another 18 or so were threatened.
Hill said the river is also in “major flood” downriver from Shreveport at Coushatta and Grand Ecore, near Natchitoches. Hill said the Red is expected to crest at 38.5 at Coushatta, 1.1 feet below the record set in 1945. The 42.1 feet expected at Grand Ecore would be the second-highest ever, he said.
Authorities have also been told that midweek rain will probably bring local flooding, Caddo Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said.
The Louisiana National Guard built a temporary floodwall of big fabric-lined metal frames filled with dirt, called HESCO baskets, to fortify a concrete wall at Shreveport and hauled two 5,700-pound pumps to a Caddo Parish pumping station serving about 20,000 residents, Staff Sgt. Denis Ricou said in a news release.
Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator told The Times that sandbagging his house and raising his antiques and other furniture onto 12-inch cinderblocks wasn’t enough to save them.
“We’d lay sandbags all night long trying to protect the house, then I’d attend meetings and take phone calls all day long trying to protect other people’s houses,” Prator said.
He said he refused government help for his house, saying those resources should protect others.
“I’m OK with losing material things, but there’s some things that are going to hurt to lose,” Prator said Saturday.
Traffic on Louisiana Highway 3 was blocked Sunday morning while cattle were herded to higher ground, Davis said.
He provided video of ranchers on horseback escorting about 65 head of cattle from Leflett Cattle Co.’s flooded land past a nearby subdivision to dry ground across the four-lane highway. Bossier Parish deputies blocked traffic near the Magnolia Chase subdivision during the move, he said in an email.