NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Homes and farmland remain under water in rural northwest Louisiana, and damage is spreading as the floodwaters from storms in neighboring Oklahoma and Texas overwhelm the Red River.
Totals for flooded buildings and farm acreage were unclear Wednesday. Both Bossier and Caddo parish officials are asking residents to report damage to their homes or businesses.
A farmland assessment may be ready Friday, said Patrick Colyer, the LSU AgCenter’s northwest regional director.
An estimated 300 buildings have had power cut off, are threatened by water or have water inside, Caddo Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman Cindy Chadwick said Wednesday.
In neighboring Bossier Parish, sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Bill Davis said two or three dozen houses and about the same number of mobile homes are flooded and at least 2,000 farm animals have been moved to higher ground.
About 15 of the flooded houses are in a subdivision where Davis estimated prices at $400,000 to nearly $1 million; at another house in that subdivision, residents pushed through chest-high water Tuesday to pile more sandbags onto the sandbag wall around their house.
The 144 residents of a Bossier City veterans home were able to stay in place but a sheriff’s office substation across the street didn’t fare as well.
“We sandbagged that for about 36 feet, back when we were told the crest would get to 34 feet. We got to 37 feet,” Davis said.
Downriver in Natchitoches (NAK-uh-tesh) Parish, Mary Jones of the homeland security office said about 50 houses are flooded, but some are unoccupied. Another 200 houses and camps are threatened, she said.
“A lot of farmland is under,” Jones said. “The sheriff is out helping one of the farmers get his cattle out.”
The city of Natchitoches — a popular tourist destination, Louisiana’s oldest permanent settlement (four years before New Orleans) and the place “Steel Magnolias” was filmed — is not threatened, she said.
Red River Parish Sheriff Glen Edwards said a half-dozen rural houses are threatened, and fields and pastures are flooded.
“As long as the levees hold … we’re good,” he said.
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