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Red River Flooding In Louisiana: Homes Submerged In Shreveport; Roads Underwater In Natchitoches Parish

By Sean Breslin
Jun 10 2015 12:00 AM EDT

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As the Red River continued to rise, Shreveport resident Donald Bailey feared for his home, but even more for his family.

"If it gets any worse, we're going to have to get the kids out of here," he told KTBS.com. "We have three, four kids in the house."

Weeks of heavy rainfall has waned across the Southern Plains, but there's only one place for those billions of gallons of water to go: downstream. On its way to the Mississippi River, the Red flows past Shreveport, and the runoff from the Texas and Oklahoma floods have all funneled into one big stream, causing big problems for the city's residents.

(MORE: Major U.S. Rainfall Record Broken In May)

The river peaked again Monday at more than 7 feet above flood stage and just a foot below a historic peak in 1945, CBS News reported. The National Guard filled sandbags as residents worked tirelessly to save their homes from going underwater, though some were only doing so in vain. Over the weekend, the water invaded many homes in the town, including that of Caddo Parish Sheriff Steve Prator.

"The glass is beginning to break from the pressure of the water," he told CBS News. "It's devastating."

The Shreveport Times reported Prator lost two burros in the flooding when they became panicked by the rising water and tried to escape.

Downtown Shreveport River Walk

Posted by Sky Pixel La on Sunday, June 7, 2015

Downstream in Natchitoches Parish, water rose on roadways and residents saw some unwanted guests on their property, KSLA.com reported.

"There was alligators in the yard this morning," said parish resident Bruce Capps. He also said their home has been flooded, but they were given days of warning that allowed them to move belongings to higher ground.

Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency as the flooding worsened, The New Orleans Times-Picayune said. And there's even more bad news for this swamped area: the flooded river isn't expected to recede back to normal levels this week.

"In Shreveport, the river level should remain above major flood stage (33 feet) through this weekend," said weather.com meteorologist Chris Dolce. "The floodwaters will continue to move through Louisiana and eventually make their way into the Mississippi River with their final destination being the Gulf of Mexico."

Some have been forced from their homes, but others are barely keeping the encroaching floodwaters from entering their homes, the Shreveport Times reported. While speaking with the Times, resident Kellie Simpson – whose home, on a hill, is now surrounded by water – summed up the helplessness that consumed Shreveport's citizens over the weekend.

"We’re literally holding back the Red, and the Red is mighty."

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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