The Latest: Guard members help transform sidewalk into levee

AP News
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Posted: Mar 14, 2016 5:09 PM
The Latest: Guard members help transform sidewalk into levee

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Latest on flooding in Mississippi and Louisiana (all times local):

4 p.m.

As floodwaters rise, the Louisiana National Guard says members of two engineer companies have helped transform a riverside sidewalk into a temporary levee along the Ouachita (WAH-shih-tah) River in Monroe.

The river in northeast Louisiana is rising after widespread downpours. The half-mile of concrete slab sidewalk is mounted on hinges and can be flipped on edge and braced with metal pipes to form a 6-foot-high emergency levee.

The guard said in a statement Monday that more than 15 members helped the Tensas (TEN-saw) Levee Basin District erect the slabs on Sunday.

Levee district operations superintendent Tracy Hilburn says it's been in place since the mid-1970s. He says it ties into permanent floodwalls when it's needed. At other times, it allows a view of the river from the Ouachita Parish courthouse.

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12:15 p.m.

Flood waters have caused some roads in a south Mississippi county to collapse.

Walthall County Emergency Manager Roland Vandenweghe says the flooding closed about 20 roads on Sunday and portions of at least three roads have collapsed since.

Dillon Hill Road was the most recent road in Walthall County to collapse. Vandenweghe said the flood water "washed out everything," and left a 15-foot deep, 7-foot wide hole in a portion of the road in Tylertown. He said at least two other roads are in similar condition.

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11:15 a.m.

Mississippi and Louisiana officials say flooding on the Pearl River may come a day later than expected.

Hancock County Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Adam in Mississippi says flooding on the river that forms the southern end of the state line may not come until late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

Adam says the National Weather Service office in Slidell, Louisiana, has pushed back the time of the river's crest.

He says the weather service told him to prepare for 5 to 7 feet of water. He said this could mean some 100 to 200 homes in Pearlington will take on water.

Forecaster Phil Grigsby says the east side of Slidell, Louisiana, is also threatened at the same time.

Water covered several roads Monday in the town of Pearl River.

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8:25 a.m.

The water has started to recede from the flooded subdivisions in Bossier City in northern Louisiana.

National Weather Service forecaster C.S. Ross in Shreveport says it will take at least a week before home owners will be able to get back to their homes and assess the damage.

In the eastern part of Bossier Parish near Haughton, Ross says the water should drain from the Tall Timbers subdivision by Monday afternoon.

A six-mile section of U.S. Highway 71 from Bossier Parish into Red River Parish is flooded.

Ross says Red Chute Bayou on the east side of Bossier City did not top the levee as feared. He says there was some seepage, but not enough to reach 3,500 homes.

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6:55 a.m.

Emergency officials in Louisiana and Mississippi are watching the rise of the Pearl River which divides the two states.

The National Weather Service predicts the Pearl could reach 21 feet by Monday afternoon — the height of the 1983 flood. This could mean 100 to 200 homes will take on water around Pearlington, Mississippi.

Hancock County Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Adam says flooding will extend to Mississippi 604.

In Louisiana, St. Tammany Parish officials say the town of Pearl River in the eastern part of the parish is already seeing some flooding in one neighborhood.

Farther to the south, official are warning residents in eastern Slidell to be vigilant about rising water Monday.

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4:15 a.m.

Widespread flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi has damaged thousands of homes, and the risk of rising water prompted additional evacuations Sunday.

At least four deaths have been reported in Louisiana amid the flooding that began last week, and the National Guard has rescued nearly 3,300 residents. Two fishermen have been missing for days in Mississippi.

Flood warnings were in effect across the region as many rivers remained dangerously high. Also of concern was another line of thunderstorms that hit parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Louisiana and northern Mississippi on Sunday night, bringing more rain and reports of tornadoes in Arkansas.