The Latest: Evacuees sheltered at Tangipahoa Parish school

AP News
|
Posted: Mar 11, 2016 12:04 PM
The Latest: Evacuees sheltered at Tangipahoa Parish school

BOSSIER CITY, La. (AP) — The Latest on Louisiana flooding (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

Dozens of evacuees at a shelter in northern Louisiana are awaiting rides from friends or relatives or are bedded down on cots that lined the walls of the school gym. They arrived with backpacks or small shoulder bags or plastic garbage bags stuffed with belongings.

Outside Natalbany Middle School in Tangipahoa Parish, 37-year-old Thaddeus Jackson and his wife, 35-year-old Joann Mills, stood waiting for a ride. They had been evacuated from their Hammond home early Friday. Mills said the water was waste deep outside their apartment.

Jackson said water was already entering the two story apartment when he arrived home at around 2:30 a.m. He said he did what he could to protect his furniture, then went to sleep upstairs with his wife and two children.

He said when he woke up Friday, rescuers were banging on the door, telling them to get out. He said they were evacuated through the high water in military-style trucks.

___

8:40 a.m.

Storms that have swamped Louisiana with torrential rain are moving eastward toward Alabama, with weather officials saying flooding is possible around Mobile Bay and warning that spring breakers need to be careful in the roiling Gulf of Mexico.

The National Weather Service predicted Friday that nearly 6 inches of rain could fall by early Sunday around Mobile, Alabama, where downtown streets often flood during tropical deluges. Water already is rising in the fishing communities and boatyards south of the city.

Across Mobile Bay in the coastal tourist towns of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, thousands of college students have converged for spring break. There, forecasters warned of potentially deadly surf conditions.

Forecasters posted a warning for rip currents, which can quickly pull swimmers out to deep water, and said waves could reach 7 feet in height — unusually large for the northern Gulf Coast. Beach erosion and flooding is also possible.

___

7:45 a.m.

High water rescues are underway in Tangipahoa (tan-ji-puh-HOH') Parish.

Parish President Robby Miller says a total of 200 people have been removed from their homes east of Hammond and in the Loranger area northeast of Hammond.

Miller says they're getting calls from all over the parish of high water and homes threatened.

He says 60 parish roads are now blocked by high water and that number is growing.

Shelters have been set up at an elementary school in Natabany north of Hammond and at Loranger High School.

___

6:50 a.m.

It's another wet day across northern Louisiana.

Meteorologist Patrick Omundson in Shreveport says rain continues to fall over portions of north central Louisiana bringing an addition inch to portions of Grant, LaSalle and Winn parishes.

He says most of the heavy rain remains over the Monroe area in northeast Louisiana.

Omundson says a section of Interstate 20 east of Bossier City remains closed and a portion of I-49 is closed south of Shreveport. He says Wallace Lake is overflowing, sending its water west to the interstate.

At the weather service office, Omundson say 11 inches have fallen, but he has reports of up to 20 inches in some areas from Shreveport to Monroe.

___

6:15 a.m.

All of southeast Louisiana remains under a flash flood watch as bands of heavy rain move over the area.

National Weather Service forecaster Andrew Ansorge in Slidell says a line of heavy rain moved north over the New Orleans metro area Friday morning and more is expected.

Ansorge says an area north of the Interstate 12 and west Interstate 55 is seeing the most rain.

He says Tangipahoa Parish is seeing flash flooding and high water rescues are underway in the Hammond and Loranger area. He says up to 10 inches has fallen in the Bogalusa area of Washington Parish.

Ansorge says the heavy rain will continue Friday and get lighter Saturday. Sunday will be a much better day.

___

3 a.m.

Record-setting flooding in northern Louisiana prompted numerous high-water rescues of stranded families and animals and officials said some levees could overflow Friday.

If weather permits Friday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards planned to tour Shreveport and Bossier City and Monroe.

Edwards late Thursday issued a statewide declaration of emergency in light of the severe weather that's already hit those areas and predictions of more rain.

Bossier Parish Sheriff's Lt. Bill Davis said two more subdivisions in south Bossier City and the area immediately around and next to Louisiana Downs racetrack were now under a mandatory evacuation.

Davis said Red Chute Bayou above Interstate 20 was still rising, and officials anticipate the levees will likely overtop by Friday morning.