Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Red River Flooding

We're in a flood condition on the Red River.  All along the river, we're seeing the results of the massive rains in Texas, Oklahoma, and here in Louisiana.  The folks on Bayou Rigolette are flooded, and the river hasn't crested yet.  The last estimate of the expected crest is at 37.5 feet early next week.

To put this in historical perspective, we haven't seen a crest this high since 1992.  However, the Red River has always been a flood-and-shallows river.  I can remember being able to walk across most of the Red River during dry times, being able to jump from sand-bar to sand-bar, having to swim only a short distance against the sluggish channel. In the mid-90's the Corps of Engineers put in a system of locks, improving navigation and taming the river just a little bit.  However, the Red reminds us that you can't tame nature.  All the locks are open right now, trying to drain the excess water and navigation on the river has been severely curtailed.

However, this isn't the biggest flood that the Red River has seen in modern times.  My friend David, sends this picture to lend an historical perspective.  I believe that this photo was taken from the Pineville side of the river, because I see buildings on the opposite bank that I know to be in Alexandria.  For example, that tall building to the right of the bridge is the Guaranty Bank building.

That's the old Murray Street bridge, long gone, joining Murray Street in Alexandria with Main Street in Pineville.  I traversed that bridge many times as a child.  The caption David sent with the photo says:

The Red River at Alexandria crested as its highest point ever recorded, which is 45.23 feet on April 17, 1945. Here's a picture of the historic event. Keep in mind that this was before the lock and dam system that was installed in the mid-90s.
I certainly on't remember that flood,  because I wasn't born until late 1953.  I bet Momma remembers that flood.


Anonymous said...

Is this the Red River you are speaking of?

Pawpaw said...

Yep, Steve, that's it. It runs from the Mississippi at Three Rivers, between Texas and Oklahoma, and drains a goodly portion of North Texas and South Oklahoma. Enters Louisiana around Shreveport, and comes south through Alexandria.

Anonymous said...

I thought so; this guy was from my home town:

Old NFO said...

Yep, water isn't compressible and it HAS to go somewhere...