- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 22, 2015

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - Even as the Red River drops a foot a day and flood waters that raged in mid-June recede, people whose homes were ravaged by the deluge continue to clean up.

One of those people is Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator, who told The Times (https://bit.ly/1IeesHd ) he soon may have to clear away what’s left of his house north of Shreveport.

“We have the bulk of it cleaned out and we have almost all the ruined furniture out, the Sheetrock cut up so the studs will dry,” he said earlier this week. “But we’ll have to bulldoze the bulk of it. We’re seeing if there’s anything we can salvage, but the slab is boogered up.”

Prator is one of hundreds of people whose homes on both side of the river were inundated as waters rose in late May and early June, passing predicted crests of 33, 34, 35 and 36 feet, passing 37 feet and nearing a high-water mark last seen in April 1945 when the angry waters roiled at 38 feet.

Waters dropped to the 30-foot minor-flood stage in mid-June, and in recent days have dropped by as much as a foot a day, to 26 feet at 1 p.m. Tuesday. Computer models called for the level to fall to 25 feet early Thursday and to 24 feet early Saturday, with even further lowering predicted.

But Shreveport-based National Weather Service Hydrologist C.S. Ross has a wary eye on the river stages and is far from sanguine.

“The releases from Millwood Lake are being ratcheted down, as well as Lake o’ the Pines,” he said, referring to reservoirs further north in the Red River watershed whose discharges have helped fuel the flood. “(But) Lake Texoma is still only two feet away from the top of its spillway. They’ll coordinate the releases but the river’s going to remain high for a while yet.”

The normal river stage this time of year should be 14 to 15 feet, he said, noting it is more than 10 feet higher than that now with currents and water flow many times normal rates.

“The current is going to remain swift and turbulent,” he said. “There’s still a lot of debris in the river. There’s going to be high water throughout July and much of August. We’ll be lucky to have the boat ramps open by Labor Day.”


Information from: The Times, https://www.shreveporttimes.com

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