Calcasieu River crests above flood stage

Calcasieu River flooding in Oberlin

OBERLIN, LA (KPLC) - Flood stage for the Calcasieu River just west of Oberlin is 13 feet, but last night the river crested over 19 feet. That number falls in the major flooding classification according to the National Weather Service.

The few residents in the area seemed well prepared for the rising water.

Most residents live closer to town, but some live along the banks. A small trailer park is currently not accessible by vehicle due to the high water. Owners built high enough to prevent the water from entering the homes. Residents are parking along the highway and using a boat to reach their trailers.

"Although this particular river point doesn't necessarily affect the most populated part of Oberlin, it does affect some homes that are out on the western edge of the town that are close to the river," said NWS Meteorologist Montra Lockwood.

At Reeds Bridge Road, just north of Oberlin, the water in the Calcasieu River is much higher than normal.

"The last time the river was right up around 19 feet, it looks like we've actually had it come up that high probably back around 2007," said Lockwood.

The Calcasieu River level at Kinder is also well above normal, but like in Oberlin, homes are not directly affected. In Kinder, the river is not expected to crest until late Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

The expected crest level is 20 feet, four feet above flood stage.

"We had the initial bump from the first batch of rain and now we've got another secondary crest that's going to occur with the rest of the water that's going to be moving into the river system," said Lockwood.

Just west in Mittie, the Ouiska Chitto Creek is also flowing higher than normal. Government officials were out Monday morning measuring currents in the waterways. The creek recorded current flows at 11,000 cubic feet per second, a number that at times has been under 100. The creek crested Monday afternoon.

"It's a very flat crest, right below 20 feet. It should begin falling tonight and continue to the rest of the week," said Lockwood.

While the water will continue to drop for the next few days, minor flooding will still be a problem in the coming days.

Lockwood says the Calcasieu River will continue to drop until at least Thursday. The river will then crest again, much lower than the 19 feet it reached last night, but still above flood stage.

The river widens the closer it gets to the Lake Charles area, so even if cresting is above normal, flooding will not be a problem like it is in these other areas.

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