Pearl River levels keeping the attention of many


Posted on September 3, 2012 at 6:31 PM

Updated Monday, Sep 3 at 6:41 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

ST. TAMMANY, La. -- A flood warning continues for people along the Pearl River in St. Tammany Parish tonight.

And while the water is still rising, the river's crest is now predicted to happen a day later, giving the water more time to flow into the lake instead of homes.

The waterway is the last in St. Tammany to get rid of Hurricane Isaac's rainfall and surge. The swollen river is already flowing across many roadways and creeping into a few neighborhoods.

"It's been pretty high before, but I think, I've been here about three years and this is the highest it's ever been, about a half-foot or so," said Charlie Dennis, who lives along Porter's River, which runs off of the Pearl River.

Dennis' neighbor, Tommy Smotherman said, "During Katrina we had about 7 feet of water there. The parish did raise the road up about three feet, but still, it's going to be impassable probably within the next couple of hours."

Some neighborhoods have been spared the river's overflow thus far, but that doesn't mean their watch over it stops.

"I was very concerned because the 19.5 river is similar to the 1980 flood we had here and in the 1980 flood, all of Gum Bayou in the from of Magnolia Forest, all those houses went under water," said Barry Bagert.

Even though the National Weather Service reports the worst case scenario is likely out of the picture, the parish is still warning of the potential, and the river's neighbors are still watching for it.

"I'm a little nervous, but I think it'll be okay," Dennis said. "I'm hoping it's going to be fine."

The crest is forecast to hit the Town of Pearl River 6 p.m. Tuesday at 19.5 feet. Flood stage is 14 feet.