SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) – After torrential rain in the East, the Pearl River continues to rise and is creeping into a St. Tammany Parish neighborhood.
As drivers approach the intersection of Magnolia Drive and Sycamore Drive in the River Gardens subdivision in rural Slidell, the road disappears; it is under water, making the homes along Magnolia Drive look like house boats.
Homeowners, however, tell WGNO the flooding is nothing new.
“This is every year,” Brian Pellegrin, who lives on Magnolia Drive, said. “This is normal at this level. It’s not a big deal… yet.”
The floodwater surrounding the homes may not alarm homeowners, but that doesn’t mean they’re immune to the challenges.
“It makes it really hard,” Asia Cotton, who lives on Magnolia Drive, said. “Every time we come out, we always have to make sure [the water’s] not flowing into the car or anything. Getting to work and coming home is getting difficult.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, nearby Pearl River reached 16 feet, according to the National Weather Service. For reference, the flood stage starts at 14 feet. The river is forecasted to crest at 17 feet by next Tuesday, which is considered the moderate flood stage.
“Anytime it rains north of us, all that water, trying to come down here, it’s going to immediately flow over the banks, and then it just spreads out and just sits,” Pellegrin explains.
Unfortunately, there’s water at the end of this tunnel.
“After the rain season, this is the next few months like this,” Nykeyah Bowles, who also lives on Magnolia Drive, said.
Cotton added, “We’re going to be like this for, like, six months or so, I think. It takes a long time for the water to push back.”
Homeowners say they need a solution and that they’re not in fear of flooding.
The parish is making sandbags available, starting Thursday, September 1 at 8 a.m. at the Old Levee Board Property at 61134 Military Road. Those in need of sandbags need to bring their own shovel.