Gov. Edwards visits Vinton as Calcasieu prepares for flooding

Published: Mar. 14, 2016 at 2:25 AM CDT|Updated: May. 13, 2016 at 2:33 AM CDT
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(Source: Liz Koh/KPLC)
(Source: Liz Koh/KPLC)
(Source: Liz Koh/KPLC)
(Source: Liz Koh/KPLC)

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - While flood levels are breaking records across the state, some communities are currently experiencing severe flooding. Others are bracing for it.

Water is rising more quickly than expected, and as of 7 p.m. Sunday, the boat launch at Niblett's Bluff Park was completely underwater.

Calcasieu Parish Sheriff Tony Mancuso issued a curfew Sunday afternoon.

"We're going to do a curfew from dusk till dawn," Mancuso said.

This applies to residents under the voluntary evacuation, which is everyone living west of Highway 109 from the I-10 bridge to the parish line.

"That's (so) we know there's nobody that should be in the area. There should be no movement in the nighttime," he said.

As the Sheriff's office continues to evacuate as many residents possible, this is their way of carrying out their promise to evacuees.

"This is just another step to try to save these people's properties and to protect their property," explained Mancuso.

That's also one of the reasons why the Sheriff closed the Sabine River Sunday morning.

"Would be looters would be going in boats to possibly try to find things to steal and do their thing that criminals do, so we want to make sure there's no access," he said. "There's no reason boats others than ours should be on that water."

As flood levels are expected to reach all time highs, the other reason is to prevent boats from pushing even more water into homes.

After making a trip to Merryville, Governor John Bel Edwards made a pit stop in Vinton.

"People need to realize that this is a very dangerous event and it's hard to imagine that you've got a dangerous flood event on a beautiful Sunday like we have today," Governor Edwards said.

He has toured the worst hit parts of Louisiana since last week. Edwards confirmed four deaths, in the state, due to flooding.

Since Calcasieu has yet to see the worst, he shared this message for residents: "People who live in Calcasieu Parish out along the river, heed the warnings and go ahead and evacuate if you're being asked to evacuate. There's no reason to put yourself and your property unnecessarily at risk and then put the lives of first responders at risk as well."

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