Beauregard Parish requests guideline changes for Toledo Bend Res - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Beauregard Parish requests guideline changes for Toledo Bend Reservoir

(Toledo Bend Spillway, Aug. 2017) (Toledo Bend Spillway, Aug. 2017)
DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) -

The Beauregard Parish Police Jury unanimously voted on a resolution asking Louisiana's congressional delegation for help changing the guidelines regarding flood gates at Toledo Bend.

Residents and businesses along the Sabine River flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey which made its first U.S. landfall as a Category 4 on August 25 in Rockport, Texas. The storm was forecast to track back to the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall again in Southwest Louisiana bringing with it heavy rain.

The Sabine River Authority, which operates the Toledo Bend Reservoir, opened five spillway gates on Wednesday, August 30, at 1 foot each, that's according to its social media page. A day later, all eleven gates would be opened at 6 feet each. The SRA follows spillway guidelines approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Neighbors along the Sabine River feared the same fate as the March 2016 flood, and many suffered the same. Homes, camps, cars, and businesses were swallowed by the rising water along the Sabine in both Louisiana and Texas.  

At its Tuesday meeting, the Beauregard Parish Police Jury made a step to change the federal guidelines the SRA follows. 

President Rusty Williamson tells 7News the vote was unanimous and the jury will send a letter requesting the guidelines be changed to congressional delegates representing communities along the Sabine River. He says a large crowd attended the meeting, most were there to discuss the SRA. 

Residents and jurors alike would like to see the guidelines show are more gradual release of water in anticipation of heavy rains, as opposed to the current guidelines which require to lake to reach a certain level before any water is released.

Now, the Beauregard Parish Police Jury will be sending its resolution to Calcasieu and Vernon Parishes, in hopes those police juries make similar moves.

Copyright 2017 KPLC All rights reserved.

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