Kentwood evacuees in shelter hope for best

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wwltv.com

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 11:28 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 11:40 PM

Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

KENTWOOD, La. -- Thousands of residents on the Northshore are evacuated from their homes.

An immediate evacuation was called in Kentwood after Gov. Bobby Jindal and Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess made a flyover of Lake Tangipahoa at Percy Quinn State Park.

Water levels are high and the river is running fast. It’s not overtopping Hwy. 38 in Kentwood, but that could change with rain on the way, as much as 1 to 2 inches. And there’s an uncertain situation up river with a dam in Mississippi.

That’s why so many people are sleeping in Kentwood High School. It’s been open Monday and there almost 500 people inside, almost at capacity. The Red Cross says they saw the biggest influx of people Thursday night.

We are seeing some flooding in Kentwood, and search and rescue efforts were underway earlier Thursday. Deputies were also going door to door evacuating anyone that lives within a half mile of the Tangipahoa River because of the potential dam failure in Lake Tangipahoa in Mississippi.

That could send more water into this already swollen river, but those at the shelter say they’re trying to stay optimistic.

“Single parent mom with five children, and it was kind of scary, but when you put God first everything is fine,” said Jamonique Norman, a Kentwood resident.

“I hope it don’t because the little stuff I do have there I don’t have anymore, so I’m hoping when I do come back I can have something there to be more happy. I’m hoping the water to go away. I don’t really have much to do,” said Kenneth Watson, Sr., a Kentwood resident.

Officials were saying they had evacuated the entire town of Kentwood, but officials are saying that is now not correct. They’ve evacuated flooded areas and the areas that are within a half a mile of the Tangipahoa River.

Officials said crews are still working to try to fix the damage in Tangipahoa. It was a significant mudslide and another, smaller mudslide.

 

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