Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued a State of Emergency Declaration due to concerns about high river levels across the state. Locally this includes St. Tammany and Washington Parishes for concerns along the Pearl River.

The heavy rain we had at the end of December of 2018 and last week across Mississippi and Southeast Louisiana caused the Pearl River to rise across those Parishes. This led to some river flooding from Bogalusa to Pearl River and Slidell. The Pearl River is about 3 feet above flood stage right now. This has caused some flooding in the Honey Island Swamp near Pearl River and impacted camps in the Bogue Chitto Wildlife Management area near Bogalusa. Fortunately, the river is slowly cresting along the Louisiana/Mississippi border.

Since it is a large river it takes a longer time period for it to rise and eventually fall. Forecasts show that it will remain above flood stage through the weekend, and will slowly fall to below flood stage later next week.

According to Mike Steele, Communications Director at GOHSEP, the State of Emergency is issued to speed up the process of getting needed supplies and funding to areas experiencing flooding. If the flooding is beyond the capacity of the Parish's flood flight ability, then this declaration allows them to turn to the state for assistance. This funding would then be used to get pumps and assist with clean-up once the river goes back below flood stage. Additionally, this declaration should be used to make the public aware of the flooding conditions along the Pearl River and to take any proactive measures to stay safe.

For more information on the Pearl River levels, keep it tuned to WWL-TV, wwltv.com and follow us on social media.