Local officials keeping watchful eye on rising river levels

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ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) – Rising river levels have caused concern for many communities in South Louisiana including Henderson.

“As of right now we can handle the waters that’s coming down, but like I tell them, keep the TV stations open, be alert and just watch what’s happening,” said Sherbin Collette, Mayor of Henderson.

He’s said he’s closely watching river levels every day in St. Martin Parish, because of flooding in the Red River Valley area, after weeks of heavy rain from the Midwest to the Southern Plains.

All of the water will head into Louisiana in the coming weeks, down the Mississippi River and Red River.

“It’s just the local rains it could possibly hurt more than the floodways. The floodway, as I said, if it gets to that level where St. Landry Parish cannot drain into it, then we have a little more to worry about,” said Collette.
Governor John Bel Edwards has already declared a state of emergency for nine parishes in some northern parishes in Louisiana.

The high water is even keeping some fishermen from catching sac-a-lait.

“Right now this water high, it has no more fish. They don’t bite too good right now,” said Thome Louangthirath.

The river rises every year, how high it rises is the question.

If river levels continue to rise, the Army Corps of Engineers could open some stalls of the Morganza Spillway, that spillway that would ease water flowing into the Atchafalya River, possibly flooding areas here, like Butte La Rose and Krotz Springs.

“I don’t think it’s a serious threat but it’s something you have to watch daily, because you know when they say it crest at 54 feet in a matter of 2 or 3 days, that can change dramatically,” said Collette.

The rivers could begin to crest by March 18.

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