Archive for » March 14th, 2016«

Water ebbing in north Louisiana, rising at Mississippi line

As floodwaters began receding Monday in northwest Louisiana, emergency officials along Louisiana’s southeastern border with Mississippi were watching the rise of the Pearl River amid widespread flooding that has damaged thousands of homes.

The water has started to ebb from flooded subdivisions in south Bossier City on the Red River in northern Louisiana.

National Weather Service forecaster C.S. Ross in Shreveport says it will take at least a week before homeowners can get back to their homes and assess the damage. A 6-mile section of U.S. Highway 71 from Bossier Parish into Red River Parish was covered by water.

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

In Arkansas, a fast-moving weekend storm system brought rain, hail and reports of several tornadoes.

National Weather Service Meteorologist Michael Brown says as many as four possible tornadoes may have touched down amid Sunday evening’s severe weather. Weather Service crews will survey the areas Monday.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service has pushed back to timeline of flooding from the Pearl River at the southern end of the Louisiana-Mississippi line.

Forecaster Phil Grigsby predicts the Pearl River could reach 21 feet by late Tuesday or early Wednesday — the height of a 1983 flood.

Hancock County Emergency Management Agency Director Brian Adam said he’s been told to expect 5 to 7 feet of water.

Adam said some 100 to 200 homes around Pearlington, Mississippi could take on water.

At least four deaths have been reported in Louisiana amid the flooding that began last week and the search continued for two fishermen missing since Wednesday in Mississippi.

In southeastern Louisiana, St. Tammany Parish officials said the town of Pearl River already was seeing flooding in one neighborhood.

Farther to the south, officials were warning residents in eastern Slidell to be vigilant about rising water.

Flood warnings were in effect for most of north Louisiana and scattered sections in the southern part of the state. In Mississippi, flooding warnings are in effect for areas along streams and bayous.

Louisiana emergency officials said nearly 5,000 homes were damaged. That number is expected to rise as more reports come in from areas still battling floodwaters. Mississippi reported that 185 homes were damaged by floodwaters and about 650 homes sustained minor damage.

The flood waters have caused several roads in a south Mississippi county to collapse.

Lt. Bill Davis with the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office said anyone with flood damage should report it to their parishes’ homeland security office.

“Once the water goes down, cleanup kits will be made available” Davis said. “By the weekend, we should have a plan for distribution.”

On Sunday, President Barack Obama signed an order declaring the flooding in Louisiana a major disaster. The president’s declaration triggers federal aid for flood victims.

It’s the most widespread non-hurricane flooding the Louisiana National Guard has ever dealt with, said Col. Pete Schneider, a guard spokesman.

The National Guard said it had about 1,200 soldiers and air crews at work in flooded areas throughout Louisiana, deploying in high-water vehicles, boats and three helicopters. National Guard crews had evacuated more than 4,255 people and 354 pets as part of its round-the-clock operations by Monday morning.

The Guard had also issued more than 71,570 bottles of water to Richland, Natchitoches, Vernon and Winn parishes, 576 MREs to Winn Parish and over 1 million sandbags to affected parishes.


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The Latest: Pearl River on the rise | The News Tribune

The Latest on Pearl River flooding along the Louisiana-Mississippi border (all times local):

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.

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.


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The Courier » Wildlife officials crack down on poachers

Over 70 wildlife officers and investigators converged Saturday in northern Ohio to serve search warrants and interview suspects about serious wildlife poaching violations.
The crackdown was in the Interstate 75 and Interstate 77 corridors, and the Lake Erie shoreline from Port Clinton to Cleveland.
The project was managed in three sectors:
The Wood County town of Grand Rapids was the location of the western-most probe. A search warrant for the home of Robert Mandon Freeworth was executed as a result of a lengthy investigation and long-term surveillance.
Officers seized antlers, deer meat, deer tags, a cellphone, firearms, documents, and a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle.
The items were allegedly used in connection with the illegal sale of deer meat, improper use of landowner hunting tags, hunting with the aid of a motor vehicle, and other illegal activity.
It is expected that the state inquiry will expand as seized items are more closely scrutinized, wildlife officials said. Prosecutors will then decide what charges will be filed in Napoleon Municipal Court, Maumee Municipal Court, Bowling Green Municipal Court and Wood County Common Pleas Court.
Another portion of the investigation led wildlife officers to the cities of Parma, Kent, Broadview Heights, Sheffield Village and Richland County. The execution of search warrants in those areas resulted in the seizure of over 100 mounted deer heads.
Alleged charges being investigated include killing multiple buck deer (only one may be taken per year per hunter), over-harvest of deer, deer-tagging violations, hunting without a landowner’s permission, hunting within municipalities and residential areas, and sales of deer meat.
Former Hancock County Wildlife Officer Kirk Keifer, now an investigator in Wildlife District 4, participated in the ongoing investigation.
Jeff Collingwood, a former McComb resident and Putnam County wildlife officer, now supervises the state’s Lake Erie Law Enforcement Unit, which handled the third part of the investigation, involving the western and central basins of Lake Erie.
Interviews were conducted with charter boat operators and fish-cleaning businesses concerning the alleged felony sales of Ohio walleye.
It is a felony violation if the net biologic value of the animals sold equals or exceeds $1,000.

Jim Abrams, The Courier’s “Field Notes” columnist, will have more on Monday


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Louisiana, Mississippi: Thousands of homes damaged in floods

Widespread flooding in Louisiana and Mississippi has damaged thousands of homes and the risk of more flooding played out Sunday as rain-filled rivers rose over banks.

At least four deaths have been reported in Louisiana, including that of an elderly man, authorities said. Two fishermen have been missing for days in Mississippi.

In northwest Tennessee, more than a dozen homes were evacuated late Saturday after heavy rains breached a levee, according to emergency officials.

Flood warnings were in effect across the region as many rivers remained dangerously high.

Also of concern was another line of thunderstorms that was expected to hit parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas, northern Louisiana and northern Mississippi Sunday night. Hail and tornadoes were possible, forecasters said.

But Davyon Hill, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Shreveport, said this storm system was not expected to drop the kind of record-setting rains that the region has seen recently.

“At this point, any rain will aggravate the flooding situation,” he said. “But these (storms) are kind of fast moving and isolated.”

In Louisiana, emergency officials said more than 4,958 homes were damaged. That number is expected to rise as more reports come in from areas still battling floodwaters. Mississippi reported that 185 homes were damaged by floodwaters and about 650 homes sustained minor damage.

On Sunday, President Barack Obama signed an order declaring the flooding in Louisiana a major disaster. The president’s declaration triggers federal aid for flood victims.

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said he was worried that many flood victims had not purchased flood insurance.

“A lot of these people I spoke to did not have flood insurance because they had never flooded before,” Nungesser said in a telephone interview.

He warned that residents may not get federal disaster aid if they didn’t have insurance. “It’s not going to be the open check book,” he added.

Downpours — part of a system affecting Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Alabama — have submerged roads and cars, washed out bridges and forced residents to flee homes.

Authorities in Louisiana’s Natchitoches Parish said Harold Worsham, 78, drowned while trying to flee floodwaters on Saline Bayou. The sheriff’s office said Worsham was in a boat that capsized as he and two others were moving items from a home onto an aluminum boat.

On Sunday, Mississippi officials said they were still looking for two missing fishermen, but had no reports of injuries or deaths there.

Flooding on rain-swollen rivers remained a major concern.

In Tennessee, Emergency Management Agency director Rickey Graves in Gibson County told The Jackson Sun (http://bit.ly/1LkN42L) that about 10 homes in the community of Kenton and a half dozen homes in Trenton were evacuated Saturday night after a levee was breached.

It’s the most widespread non-hurricane flooding the Louisiana National Guard has ever dealt with, said Col. Pete Schneider, a guard spokesman.

The National Guard said it had about 1,400 soldiers and air crews at work in flooded areas throughout Louisiana, deploying in high-water vehicles, boats and three helicopters. By Sunday morning, National Guard crews had evacuated more than 3,295 people and 316 pets as part of its round-the-clock operations.


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