Flood waters receding in Catahoula

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 30, 2001

JONESVILLE, La. – The Black River at Jonesville stood at 48.5 feet Friday – down more than 2 feet from 10 days ago, and enough to cause waters to recede somewhat throughout Catahoula Parish.

&uot;It’s really falling – in fact, Rock Road (near Sicily Island) is out from under water,&uot; said Debra Renda, civil defense director for Catahoula Parish.

Water on other parish roads remains 1 foot deep, down from a depth of more than 6 feet 10 days ago. Still, several roads will remain closed as long as water covers them, Renda said.

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Areas still closed include Doty Road near Harrisonburg, Ratcliff and Deer Creek roads near Sicily Island, Vick Road and Louisiana 3102 near Larto, Fishfin and Ponderosa roads near Sandy Lake, and the south end of Meng’s Lake.

Still, many families who left their homes for higher ground when flood waters threatened to cut off access roads to their property have now gone back to their homes, Renda said.

In fact, a feeding center established at United Pentecostal Church on Airport Road in Jonesville for flooding victims was scheduled to close as of Friday.

The flooding could have been worse if the high waters had not been preceded by three years of drought conditions, Renda said. The last severe flood Catahoula Parish experienced was in 1991, she said.

&uot;(Lake) Larto’s water table being down so much is what saved us,&uot;&160;she said. &uot;I don’t know what the flooding would have been like otherwise.

&uot;I just hope we don’t get a lot of rain this weekend that causes these waters to come back up.&uot;

But there is not much chance of rain this weekend, according to the National Weather Service in Jackson.

A 40 percent chance of rain was forecast for Friday night, but skies were expected to range from partly cloudy to sunny the rest of the weekend, with only a 20 percent chance of rain tonight.