Sunday, May 31, 2015

Red River Flooding Roundup

The forecast over the next few days is blissfully clear of rain which is at least a positive sign for those anticipating flooding from the rising Red River this week.

As of noon today the river is still slightly above flood stage and is at 30.5 feet with a projected crest of 33.7 on June 5.

As of noon, May 31, 2015

As I was taking photos along both the Clyde Fant and the Arthur Ray Teague Parkways yesterday, I kept running into people who were out with cameras to record this historic flood.  I saw parents with children:  "It's never done this before?" I heard one child ask.  "Not in a long time," said his mother.

In March 2015, KTBS looked back at the historic 1990 flood.  We had the same sort of situation.  It was in May that we had 12 - 18 inches of rain in the same areas that have been affected in past weeks over the Ark-la-Tex which filled the Red River watershed area:

Via KTBS, March 2015

As a result, Hamel's Park and C. Bickham Dickson Park flooded, as one might expect.  There was also flooding along Wells Island Road near the downtown airport and water topped the Clyde Fant Parkway around the Jimmy Davis Bridge.

Ironically, the KTBS retrospective says:
The Corps of Engineers have made many flood control improvements to the Red River since the 1990 event including the addition of Lock and Dam #5.  The chance of another major flood event of this magnitude is highly unlikely.  
As unlikely as it seemed then, it is our reality right now.

People along the bayous, streams and backwaters along the river are bracing for flood and loading up sandbags.

Here is the latest story from KTBS regarding flooding in south Bossier parish.

If you need sandbags, they are available at 1701 Monty St. in Bossier.

Here is the latest from KSLA with water levels from around the river.

Here are some specifics on Pecan Point, Lake Texoma, and DeKalb with some impressive video.

If you have pictures you'd like to share or information about closed or flooded areas, email me and we'll post it here.

Remember, do NOT drive through flooded areas!

Red River Flooding photos: Part 1 (May 17)
Red River Flooding Photos Part 2  (May 30)

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Red River Flooding Photos, Part II

Last week I posted photos of the rising Red River.

This week, it's even higher.

I started this week at the Arthur Ray Teague boat launch.  What is different this week is the fishermen.  Last week there were one or two people fishing the high waters; this week they are everywhere.  (Click on the pictures to enlarge).

WHY is that guy standing in the water?!

They are parked all along the Arthur Ray Teague Parkway on the shoulder, fishing.

Just south of the Arthur Ray Teague boat launch.

When I first pulled up to Stoner boat launch, the gate was across the entrance and you couldn't drive in, but in a few minutes the Sheriff opened it and let a few cars in.  I scooted through.

The water is much higher than it was last week; this week it is up into the parking lot.

Last week you could see another picnic table in this view; now it is totally submerged.

The launch is completely under water.

Prisoners were working at the Sheriff's sub-station piling sandbags; if the river reaches the predicted crest of 33 feet (three feet above flood stage), it will flood the sub-station.

Piling up sandbags.

I was there about five minutes before they started running everyone back out.

They wanted to be sure we left.

So, I headed down to Riverview Park.

Last week the water was still about a foot below stage level but this week it is totally submerged.

Right now, the water is at 29.8 feet, and rising.

Again, there were a lot of people out with cameras and with children looking at the river and recording this historic event.

This is Riverview Park at the 2012 Barkus & Meoux parade, not flooded.


And on to the Stoner boat launch.

Stoner Boat Launch and Skate Park

That's the skate park to the far right; under water is the entire parking lot.

And again, the fishermen were out in force.

I asked if they were catching anything - negative.

They need a boat to get to their office.

A closer shot of the launch.  You can see the ramp where the base is for the guys that patrol the river.
I went further south to Hamel's Memorial Park.  Totally under water.

And more fishing.

You can see the Clyde Fant Parkway to the far left.  Water is close to the road.

Don't think we'll sit on that bench...

Hamel's Memorial Park

This is the boat ramp, under water.

Hamel's Memorial Park

But, the turtle likes it.

Here is where you can watch the level of the river and the predicted crest, which changes daily.  As of right now, the predicted crest is about 33 feet, next week.

Previously:  Red River Flooding, Part 1:  May 17, 2015

Take a Trip to Two 2015 Memorial Day Ceremonies in Shreveport

We observe Memorial Day twice around here - one on the federally designated holiday and again on true Memorial Day, May 30.

The federal holiday fell on May 25 this year and we went to the ceremony at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Cemetery near Keithville.

The ceremony was very well attended with many dignitaries present; this year a new monument was unveiled to honor the sacrifice of veterans.  The Battlefield Cross monument dedicated at the ceremony was approved by Arlington National Cemetery and depicts a family member kneeling at the foot of a Battle Cross made of the boots, weapon, helmet, and dog tags of a fallen soldier.

There were speeches by dignitaries

and placing of wreathes.

The Young Marines did an excellent job.

The ceremony closed with a salute.

Today, May 30, was the Memorial Day Service at Greenwood Cemetery at the corner of Centenary and Stoner in Shreveport.  This service is sponsored by the Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 30.

Greenwood Cemetery is among Shreveport's oldest and has a large veterans section.  This is where two of the Kelley brothers are buried.

The graves are always decorated.

This ceremony is dear to us and I'm always a little sad that it isn't better attended by the general public.

The veterans organizations and the veterans are there every year, though!

We see lots of old friends there.  Here is Steve and his buddy John Long:

John is with the Sons of the Confederacy:

There was a lovely rendition of the National Anthem by Parkway High School AFJROTC:

The speaker today was Lt. Bill Davis who reminded us to always remember the fallen and their sacrifice.  He spoke eloquently of Old Glory and the pride of America.

Then came the wreaths:

The Parkway AFJROTC served as escorts:

Steve placed a wreath for the 40 & 8 Voiture 137.

Our friend Ron Chatelain is always present each year to present:

The Sons of the American Revolution:

The Knights Templar of USA:

The Parkway AFJROTC held a flag folding ceremony...

...and the event closed with a gun volley by the Sons of the Confederacy:

With the playing of TAPS, it was over.

The Parkway AFJROTC always does a lovely job at this event and God bless John Andrew Prime of The Shreveport Times who is the epitome of the old school newspaperman and I mean that in the best way. With notebook in hand and whatever it takes, he is there for vets every single time.

If you missed it this year, put this on your calendar for next year.

Take time today to remember.

The SIGIS Take a Trip Series:
Take a Trip to the 2012 Defenders of Liberty Air Show at BAFB
Take a Springtime Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden, LA
Take a Trip to Logansport, Louisiana
Take a Trip to the Lock and Dam on Red River
Take a Trip to the 2012 Barkus and Meoux Parade
Take a Christmas Shopping Trip to Second Hand Rose in Minden
Take a Trip to the Fourth Annual Barksdale AFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Grand Cane's Fifth Annual Pioneer Trade Day
Take a Trip to the 2011 Highland Jazz & Blues Festival
Take an Autumn Trip to Jefferson, Texas
Take a Fall Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to the 8th Air Force Museum at Barksdale Air Force Base
Take a Summertime Trip to Grand Cane
Take a Trip to Desoto Parish
Take a Summer Trip to Second Hand Rose Antiques in Minden
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Melrose Plantation 
Take a Trip to Ed Lester Farms and a Random Antique Stop
Take a Trip to the Norton Art Gallery and the Masters of Cuban Art Exhibit
Take a Trip to Natchitoches to See the Christmas Lights
Take a Trip to the Third Annual BAFB Oktoberfest 
Take a Trip to Natchitoches and Oakland Plantation

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Red River Flooding 2015

The Red River is rising.  It isn't quite to the 2009 levels yet, but it's getting there.  I drove down to the river this morning to take a look.

Riverview Park May 2015

Riverview Park November 2009
As of noon today, the water isn't quite to the stage level as it was in 2009.  Right now the river is at 28.55 feet; in November 2009 it was 29.45 feet.  The latest projections by the National Weather Service is that the river will crest at 29 feet sometime tomorrow and then begin to go down.  But, they're still getting lots of rain in Texas and Oklahoma, so that may change.

I went down to the Arthur Ray Teague boat launch and the water is up to the parking lot there and has submerged part of the picnic area.

Boat launch at Arthur Ray Teague

Some of the picnic tables are under water.

No picnic today.
I stopped several places along the parkway and at most of them there were people out with cameras taking pictures or just looking at the river.

Arthur Ray Teague Boat Launch

I went a little further down toward CenturyLink and there are clearly places where the water is over the bank.

Along the parkway
Most of the walking trails are still clear and there were people fishing, biking, and walking all along the way.

Stoner Boat Launch, from the Skate Park

Hopefully, the projections are correct and it won't get much higher;  the public boat launches are closed but private launches still provide access although I didn't see anyone foolhardy enough to get on the water today.

You can keep up with the river stages at various points here.

You can read more about the Red River Watershed Basin here.

Here's a neat website about the Red River area and accompanying blog.

ADDED:  Red River Flooding Part II:  May 30, 2015