OBERLIN — Remnants of Tropical Storm Barry brought heavy downpours late Sunday into early Monday causing significant flooding throughout Allen Parish, flooding dozens of homes and making many roads impassable.
Oakdale and Oberlin were the hardest hit with 12-17 inches of rain reported overnight and into the morning. Flooding was also reported in the Reeves area.
The Red Cross was set up at the Allen Parish Civic Center at 609 Tiger Lane in Oberlin to provide disaster clean up kits and shelter for residents affected by flooding.
Oakdale Mayor Gene Paul said relentless rain had flooded dozens of homes and included about four inches of water on the first floor of Oakdale High School located at the end of East Sixth Avenue.
"This morning as of 6 a.m. we had 12.2 inches of rain in less than 12 hours and it has continued to come down all morning," Paul said.
He said about 30 homes scattered throughout the city reported various depths of water inside, most of those were located along drainage ditches throughout the city and in the Oak Park subdivision area.
"I'm 66 years old and I don't remember it flooding like this since the ‘70s," Paul said. "This is bad and a lot of new places that haven't flooded in awhile are seeing water. We've had a lot of rain in just a few hours."
In Oberlin, Police Chief Grady Haynes said flooding had shut down U.S. 165 north between Oberlin and Oakdale at Deer Pen Road. Flooding was also reported on several streets throughout the town.
At least a dozen homes, if not more, were also flooded, he said.
Five residents of a small nursing facility had to be evacuated to a thrift store on North Fifth Street after floodwater threatened the facility.
"I've never seen it this bad except after it rained and it flooded the rivers up north and it came here," Haynes said.
The Calcasieu River at Oberlin was at 17.29 feet at 4:15 p.m. Monday. It is expected to crest at 18.5 feet by this morning before rapidly dropping. The Calcasieu River at Kinder was at 16 feet Monday and is expected to crest at 18.5 feet today before slowly dropping.
The Calcasieu River at Oakdale is expected to remain below flood stage.
Officials are working to obtain a list of flooded homes and roads in an attempt to seek assistance from FEMA, Haynes said.
Two State Fire Marshall deputies with agency boats were also dispatched to Allen Parish to assist in response to the flooding. They will be paired up with first responded from Alexandria Fire Department, which also serve as part of the Louisiana State Urban Search and Rescue Task Force as Regional Response Team 6, to answer any calls for service.
Sheriff Doug Hebert III said inmates began filling sandbags late Sunday night as the tropical rain began to threaten homes. The sandbag locations will remain open as long as needed, he said.
Hebert urged residents to stay home and not go out unless they absolutely had to. He also discouraged sightseers from driving around and pushing water into homes.
At the height of the rainfall, 40 roads throughout the parish were impassable due to high water. Many were reopened as conditions improved later in the day.
More than 100 residences were without power in parts of the parish Monday morning, but most power was restored by the afternoon.