WASHINGTON, La. -- Washington Parish is expected to see a significant spike in water levels overnight near the Bogue Chitto, according to a homeland security spokesman.
"It's something we've never seen quite as fast," said Thomas Thiebaud, Region 9 coordinator for the. Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. "The entire river system is going to be at flood stage."
Thiebaud said at 10 p.m., the stage was at 2.5 feet. But by the morning along the Bogue Chitto, Pearl River and Bogue Falaya, the water is expected to rise exponentially, up to 16 feet by 8 a.m.
"We're going to see a rise in the river overnight that's going to affect people by the time they wake up in the morning," he said. "My concern is looking at river heights this morning and it going up a good 10-14 feet. We haven't seen river go up that fast before"
Even worse, Thiebaud said, could be the water rising as the day goes on. He said it could be anywhere from 18 to 21 feet later in the day.
Washington Parish deputies are going door-to-door to notify residents along the Bogue Chitto of the rising waters. There are between 15 and 30 families directly affected, and possibly 30 or 50 more throughout the river basin could see effects.
Thiebaud said they have shelters at Franklinton High School for those who need it.
"Any time you have a running water under and around home, I would consider it a life or death situation," Thiebaud said.