Parish News

Bossier Parish preparing for Harvey

08/28/2017

National Weather Service (NWS) forecasters are predicting northwest Louisiana is squarely in the path of now-Tropical Storm Harvey and Bossier Parish officials are taking steps to prepare for possible heavy rains and high winds later this week.

Police Jury highway department crews are checking drainage ditches and culverts in areas where problems have arisen in the past. Improvements are being made where needed and any obstructions in culverts are being removed.

“When there’s an expected weather event like this one, this is standard procedure for us,” said Parish Engineer Butch Ford. “We send our guys out to inspect drainage ditches and be sure they’re in good shape. We also make sure there’s no debris blocking our culverts.”

Bossier Parish could see some rainfall Monday through Wednesday, but the heaviest rainfall is expected toward the end of the week and possibly into the weekend. Weather Service forecasters are predicting between three and five inches of rain for the area. Those predictions could change, however, if Harvey lingers in the Gulf before heading northeast.

 Sandbags have been stockpiled at several locations in the parish, but crews are currently adding to the totals just to be sure the needs of residents are met. The highway maintenance facility at 410 Mayfield St. in Benton has extended its hours and will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. through Tuesday.

Parish Administrator Bill Altimus said crews will be on hand during those hours to assist individuals with loading the sandbags.

“We’ll evaluate the situation again Tuesday and if we need to, we’ll keep the extended hours at the maintenance facility,” Altimus said.

Altimus said storage bins that had been placed at strategic locations in the parish have full stocks of sandbags for the convenience of residents who live in those areas.

In addition to two storage bins at the highway department maintenance facility, other locations, and persons to contact for sandbags are:

·      Elm Grove: South Bossier Fire District 2, 3551 Louisiana Highway 527; Fire Chief Kenny Tyson at (318) 987-2555. 

  • Haughton: Haughton Fire District 1, 4494 U.S. Highway 80; Fire Chief Robert Roe at (318) 949-9440.
  • Haughton: Town of Haughton, 120 W. McKinley Ave.; Mayor Jack Hicks at (318)) 949-9401. 
  • Plain Dealing: Town of Plain Dealing, 205 W. Palmetto. The contact has yet to be announced.

In addition to potential heavy rains in some locations, parish residents are urged to prepare for the possibility of falling trees.

“High winds and rain saturated soil isn’t a good combination,” Ford said. “The weather service said we could see sustained winds around 35 miles per hour with gusts stronger than that. We also urge our people to be aware that flash flooding can occur in low areas. Everyone should exercise caution and don’t drive in high water or swift water.”

 

Bossier Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Ian Snellgrove (right) and Deputy Director Col. Gene Barattini during Monday's weather briefing.

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