HOLDEN – Livingston Parish dodged the bullet on most of the heavy rain, but the flow of water along rivers and tributaries will bring a rise in flood stages.
The Tickfaw River at Holden rose to 15.95 feet, nearly one foot above flood stage, according to reports this afternoon (Dec. 29) from the National Weather Service in Slidell.
The Amite River at Denham Springs crested at 29.93 feet, almost one foot above flood stage, but the level is expected to recede gradually over the next week, according to the National Weather Service.
At Port Vincent, the river stages reached 7.3 feet, seven-tenths of a foot below flood stage. The stages reached 3.13 feet at French Settlement at 2 p.m. Dec. 29.87 of an inch below flood stage.
Minor flooding in low-lying areas figured as the biggest problem for the southernmost part of Livingston Parish, but it’s far from the worst they’ve seen.
“This is nothing compared to what we’ve seen in the past,” Port Vincent Mayor Johnnie “JJ” Page said. “We’re used to this.”
The conditions kept French Settlement Mayor Toni B. Guitreau concerned about potentially higher levels than expected – something that has been a concern since the Great Flood of 2016.
“It looks like we’ve dodged the bullet, but at the same time people still worry every time we hear any threat of flood,” French Settlement Mayor Toni B. Guitreau said. “There’s definitely PTSD among a lot of residents in our area.”
The flow of water toward French Settlement and forecasts of above-average rainfall in January poses concern for Lawrence Callendar, who oversees emergency management for the village.
“It looks like we’re heading back into that weather pattern,” he said. “January has been like another flood month in some years, particularly during the 1990s, so we have to be ready for that.”
In Walker, motorists had to deal with “ponding,” circular patches of water that breached a road.
Cars hitting a ponding at high speed risked hydroplaning – losing contact with the road surface – and losing control.
The Walker Police Department was direct in its traffic warnings.“Don’t try to drive through flooded areas. ‘Turn Around! Don't Drown!’’’
“We are receiving reports of high water on Buddy Ellis Road and on Brown Road,” said Capt. John Sharp, public information officer for the department, late Thursday.
No home flooding was reported. Motorists reported water across Brown Ross near Juban Parc Elementary.
Pendarvis Lane had water across the roadway in two curves, one east of Three Lakes subdivision, and another curve near Florida Boulevard.
Also hampering traffic was an auto accident about 6 p.m. that blocked one lane of Pendarvis near the Florida Boulevard traffic light.
Brian Park, a traffic route between Pleasant Ridge subdivision at Pendarvis Lane and Water South Road, was reported breached by water,
Other streets dealing with high water were Hartman Lane, near Interstate 12; Smith Drive, north of Walker High School; and Rae Drive, east of Walker South Road near Dumplin Creek.
Water was also reported almost crossing Walker South Road near South Fork Elementary.