Tropical storm flooding shuts down portions of I-10, forcing major traffic detours


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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KLFY)- Parts of Interstate 10 remain closed in Louisiana and Texas because of flooding related to Tropical Storm Imelda.

“We’re hoping to reopen it as soon as we’re given the word, but we have this closure in place at the request of Texas authorities,” Sgt. James Anderson, with Troop D of State Police, said,

​​The opening of I-10 westbound and Louisiana Highway 12 westbound will remain at the mercy of mother nature… leaving some drivers waiting the closure out.​
“We’re just kind of stranded until they either open Interstate 10 or the State of Louisiana reroutes us and we are okay to be on the highway,” Roxie Sartin said.

Sartin lives in Alabama.​ She and her husband stayed in a hotel Thursday night and are planning to stay again tonight.

They are traveling to Lumberton, Texas, about 50 miles from Vinton, Louisiana, where they are now. ​​
“It’s just going to be one of those things that we’re just going to have to sit and wait,” said Sartin.​

One Vinton resident was at the rest stop watching traffic as it was diverted.​

Elroy Caesar said the only time he’s seen this much activity in his town is back when Hurricane Harvey hit.

“They can’t do nothing because the water rises over the interstate so you really can’t do nothing about that. You just got to deal with it,” he said.

“Here’s the problem, so even if you have portions of I-10 which are not under water, in many cases, those exit ramps are underwater and once those drivers get there, many of the services are not accessible,” said Sgt. Anderson.​ “So you can’t get gas, can’t get food, can’t get the things that you need once you’re there.”

“We just got to deal with it because it’s nature,” said Caesar. “The more water…it’s just going to keep rising, but supposedly the rain is gone so maybe it’ll start dying now and everything will be open. It’s all good.”​
State Police say US 190 going in to Texas is open.

There’s no timetable as to when I-10 westbound near Vinton will be open, officials said.

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