St. James Parish braces for possible backwater flooding

ST. JAMES PARISH (WGNO) – Officials in St. James Parish are warning residents about the possibility of backwater flooding that could push water into homes and force evacuations.

Backwater flooding happens when something upstream impedes the flow of water from downstream. Rivers across South Louisiana have crested to record levels, and the chances for backwater flooding in St. James Parish are high.

Areas west of Lafayette are already experiencing backwater flooding from the Mermentau River.

There are no evacuations in St. James Parish yet, officials said.

Areas north of La. 3125 are at the highest risk for flooding.

Officials in St. James Parish advise residents to make preparations to evacuate in case they are told to do so.

They should bring the following items:

  • Supply of water – one gallon per person for three days.
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and a non-electric can opener.
  • Change of clothes
  • Raingear
  • Sturdy shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Prescription medications
  • Toiletries, sanitary needs
  • battery-operated radio, flashlight and extra batteries
  • Special items for infants, elderly and disabled family members
  • Extra set of house and car keys
  • List of family doctors
  • Credit cards and cash
  • Personal evacuation plan
  • Paper plates and utensils, including a bottle opener

There are no shelters open in St. James Parish at this time, but the parish president said the parish is ready to open shelters if the need arises.

More information can be found here: http://www.stjamesla.com/information. Officials say they will update the website throughout the day.