Are you for armed guards at schools?|
|Rivers rise, homes damaged during storm; 13 inches of rain recorded|
Almost 13 inches of rain fell in Concordia Parish during the past week, including more than 10 inches Wednesday night through Friday morning (Jan. 9-11).
A 12-ft. rise was recorded in a week's time on the lower gauge of the Black River at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Locks & Dam south of Jonesville.
The Concordia Parish Police Jury estimated that more than 40 roads were temporarily impassable due to the rising waters, while a few dozen homes throughout the parish suffered some degree of flood damage, including an estimated 27 in Concordia Park.
Sheriff Kenneth Hedrick said deputies, responding to a 911 call at 8 a.m. Thursday (Jan. 10), rescued 11 adults and children on the 500 block of Doty Road in Ferriday.
The first to arrive on the scene, Sgt. Randy Lipscomb alerted Chief Deputy David Hedrick and Keith Boothe that a boat was needed because, the sheriff noted, "the water had risen to the door of an elderly woman's residence."
Deputies, including Neil Mohon, assisted in evacuating the woman from her home as well as other individuals from neighboring homes. Some of the residents were unaware of the rising water level until deputies knocked on their doors, Hedrick said.
Gov. Bobby Jindal on Thursday issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency due to the severe weather and flooding. He authorized the director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to "implement necessary flood protection measures to protect their citizens, prepare for additional flooding, and respond to ongoing flooding.
Jindal's declaration included Concordia and the parishes of Acadia, Avoyelles, East Carroll, Evangeline, Livingston and St. Landry.
During the height of the storm, 10.48 inches was recorded at the Black River locks and dam Wednesday through Thursday of last week.
The upper gauge stood at 34 feet on Monday, Jan. 7, and at 37.5 feet on Wednesday, Jan. 16.
The lower gauge, meanwhile, rose from 24.8 feet on Jan. 7 to 36.8 feet on Jan. 16, a rise of 12 feet.
Rainfall from last week through Wednesday morning of this week totaled 12.88 inches.
Police Jury President Melvin Ferrington said Jury crews begin preparing for the rains on the afternoon of Wednesday, Jan. 9, by checking ditches and clearing debris where necessary.
"We did everything we could to get ready for the rain," he said. "It was just a heck of a lot of rain in a short period of time."
"My gauge at home showed 9 inches and was running over Thursday," he said.
He said sand was delivered to the correctional facility on Hwy. 15 where inmates prepared sandbags for the general public.
"Boat traffic was closed on Lake Concordia because water was backing up into the lake," he said. "It got into some boat houses and cook shacks."
School Supt. Dr. Paul Nelson said he surveyed principals early Thursday morning who didn't not see an immediate need to closed schools due to the rain.
"Once the buses started rolling at 6 a.m. and we start picking up kids they are our responsibility," he said. "We have to keep them. You can't turn a bus around and send kids home to a empty house."
He said some students who did not attend school that morning were checking in by noon.
Nelson said the Concordia Education Center in Ferriday took in some water but no damage was reported. Some schools buildings reported leaks and sidewalks under water.
Ridgecrest Mayor Dwayne Sikes said three houses were flooded in town -- two on Cottonwood.
"We had lots of water in yards," he said. "They looked like lakes."
He said the ditches "still have a lot of water."
Ferriday Mayor Gene Allen said besides streets taking on water, there have been no serious problems from the rains.
"We had some problems on Canal Street, but we haven't had any major problems," Allen said.
Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the town "was very fortunate that water did not get in any houses," although there were some "drainage issues due to the Vidalia Canal being full."
The grounds of the new recreation facility drained well, he said, while work in the past to fill in open ditches in Vidalia has been beneficial to drainage.
Catahoula Parish Sheriff James Glen Kelly said there were "numerous reports of flooded roads."
He said Taliaferro Street in Harrisonburg "washed out taking the water and gas lines with it."
Work crews with the Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development were busy late week throughout the six-parish Chase District, including Concordia, due to the rising waters.
"We put out a lot of 'high water' signs due to flash flooding, especially water encroaching on the shoulders or surface of our highways," Chase District Supervisor Ricky Moon said Monday.
He said three roads were closed in the district, including two in Tensas Parish.
LA 128 west of St. Joseph was reopened this weekend after a washed out culvert was replaced. A segment of LA 575 west of Newellton and LA 3159 in LaSalle Parish were also closed due to high water, but have since been reopened.
For the full story, subscribe to the The Concordia Sentinel's NEW E-Edition!
|Frank Morris Murder Series|