Flooding update: response in Louisiana, Clarksville

Americorps volunteers and members of the National Guard build up the southern edge of Clarksville’s defenses. Photo by Adam Thorp.

It was still a day for the record books.

A series of levee breaks along the Mississippi relieved a little pressure on Louisiana and Clarksville Thursday and Friday. The river had been forecast to crest Friday as little as a tenth-of-an-inch south of the level reached in the all-time high flood of 1993. The crest came in beneath expectations Thursday evening — though the crests in Louisiana and and Clarksville were still respectively the second and third highest ever recorded.

National Weather Service forecasts — which are subject to frequent change and only factor in the next 24 hours of precipitation — call for another, higher crest early next week.

CLARKSVILLE — Clarksville swarmed with activity Friday afternoon. Units of the Army National Guard, prisoners from the women’s correctional facility in Vandalia, workers from the federal Americorps program and other volunteers were at work trying to raise the city’s walls of sandbags to 28 feet. The National Guardsmen had arrived the day before and were slated to leave shortly.

About 25 homes had been evacuated in the southern parts of Clarksville. The Clarksville Post Office has flooded, the wall of sandbags around it over-matched by the rising waters.

LOUISIANA — The gym at the Twin Pike YMCA has been set up to house people displaced by flooding, who had previously relied on a shelter set up at the YMCA in Hannibal. City officials were unsure how many people might need to make use of the facilities — two people, who had previously been at the Hannibal shelter, arrived at the facility as it opened.

See next week’s issue of the Louisiana Press-Journal for more coverage of this week’s flooding.

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