PEARL RIVER, La. – As water continued to rush down rivers on many areas of the northshore, residents of Eastern St. Tammany – especially parts of Slidell and Pearl River prone to flooding from rises in the Pearl River are bracing for rising waters.
The Pearl River is expected to crest around 21 feet, something not seen in the area in more than 30 years.
“If you look at the historic floods of the Pearl River, the last time it got that high was 1983, before the current buildup of houses and subdivisions in Eastern St. Tammany,” said WWL-TV Chief Meteorologist Carl Arredondo. “After Hurricane Katrina, the Pearl River changed tremendously with new outlets and new channels from Katrina and that means we may not know how bad this flooding event might be. All residents need to very closely monitor this situation.”
David McQueen, the mayor of Pearl River, said he’s concerned that many roads and outlets in and out of the area may become impassable.
“All that water is going to come in fast,” he warned. “In ’83 it was deep enough to run boats on and they’re expecting it to be that high again.”
The previously highest-recorded crests of the Pearl River show the reasons for concern, with the crest Monday expected to come at or near the 1983 numbers.
21.05 ft on 04/09/1983
19.75 ft on 04/02/1980
19.70 ft on 04/19/1900
19.60 ft on 01/30/1990
19.25 ft on 04/26/1979