High water, failing lock threatens Louisiana homes
Authorities dropped a mandatory evacuation order Sunday for neighborhoods threatened by a strained lock on a southeast Louisiana canal, but still recommended people stay away.
“As there is still a potential threat, even though reduced, a voluntary evacuation remains in place until the Army Corps of Engineers deems the lock stable and safe,” the president and sheriff of St. Tammany Parish announced late Sunday morning. “Please stay vigilant.”
The lock authorities feared would fail was on a man-made canal that juts off the Pearl River, along the Mississippi state line. The river has been swollen by rain from last week’s Hurricane Isaac, forcing authorities to relieve pressure on the structure by releasing water Saturday and Sunday.
But forecasters still predict the Pearl to crest Monday at 19.5 feet, more than five feet above flood stage. That will result in “major flooding” of at least two subdivisions near the banks and threaten areas in the southeastern corner of the parish, according to the National Weather Service.
Flood warnings remained posted for parts of two northeastern Arkansas counties along the Cache River on Sunday. Parts of Missouri and Illinois saw up to six inches of rain Saturday, and the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning early Sunday for portions of southern Illinois.