Jeff Davis cancels Friday classes; Jindal declares statewide emergency

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Southwest Louisiana is emerging from downpours that have rivers and streams at or approaching flood stage.

National Weather Service hydrologist Jonathan Brazzell says flooding probably will affect mostly streets along rivers and streams. Eunice had nearly 11.2 inches of rain in the 24 hours ending at 7 a.m., and Iowa had 9.7 inches.

The Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Office said is has handled numerous calls on flooded roadways. Spokesman James McGee said the Sheriff’s Office has high water vehicles and boats staged in different areas within the parish, and is prepared to handle any flood related calls they may receive.

If anyone is trapped in their home needs help evacuating or has any other flood related issues please call the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office at 491-3700 or 911 if it is an emergency.

Jeff Davis Parish has cancelled classes for Friday due to flooding brought on by the rain. Our Lady of Immaculate Catholic School in Jennings will also be closed Friday.

Jeff Davis Parish Sheriff Sheriff Ivy Woods is warning people along Mermentau River to prepare for flooding. The NWS is estimating the river to rise 8 1/2 feet this weekend near Castex Landing. The flood stage on the Mermentau is 4 feet. National Weather Service advised the last time the Mermentau rose to this level was in 2004.

The NWS said that the Castex Landing area will have 4 1/2 feet of water over the roadway sometime this weekend. Sheriff Woods said residents along the river should prepare for expected flooding and evacuate if necessary.

Sheriff Woods said the Catfish Point Locks are open and draining but that flooding is still expected to be substantial in lower lying areas.

Gov. Bobby Jindal has already declared a statewide emergency. The declaration lets Louisiana use state money to help local governments deal with flooding and storm.

The weather service says an industrial plant south of Plaquemine may have been damaged by a tornado Thursday morning. No injuries were reported.

The Louisiana National Guard sent a high-water truck and two soldiers each to Marksville and to Crowley, where the weather service reported 9.35 inches of rain in 24 hours.

Forecasters say the really bad weather is out of the state with the next wave of rain expected Saturday.