Livingston Parish residents combat, adapt to high waters after flooding

Kiran Chalwa reports on flooding in Livingston Parish

LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Those in Livingston Parish are feeling the effects of high water in the wake of heavy, prolonged rains.

"We've got water everywhere," says Livingston Parish President Layton Ricks. "We always do in a rain, let alone in a 10, 11, 12 inch rain like we're having now."

No matter where you go in Livingston Parish, the story stays the same.

"I've never seen it this high before," said one Livingston Parish resident. "Lived here for over 40 years "

No matter who you talk to, it's the same reality for everyone.

"It blows my mind," says another. "I've never seen the water this high."

"This is the worst that I've seen," says another resident. "I've been here since 1991."

The flooding has been likened to Katrina and Gustav levels. Right off the Holden exit at Interstate 12 on Highway 441, the water is up to the halfway point on the gas pumps. A vehicle is stuck because the water is too high. Believe it or not, sandbags are indeed working to keep all of the water out of stores and other buildings.

"We got some low points in there," says Travis Daniels. "We've got some pumps that's pumping it out." Daniels is helping out his friend who owns the store high water is hitting. They are walking through waist high water in order to put sandbags in place, going so far as to using a pirogue to accomplish that goal.

While some are taking boats, David Hood is taking his four-wheeler. "We come down here to see how high it is," says Hood. "Never seen it like this, and then we heading back home."

First responders warn against that type of behavior, however, as they may need to break away from helping people to rescuing stranded drivers.

"We're trying to get sand to people," says Ricks. "Sand delivered to people where they can come get sand, and then they get stuck and have to go people out when they really had no reason."

He says if you don't have any reason to be out, stay home and off of the roadways. Adding that the barricades are up for a reason, like at McLin Road in the town of Livingston.

In French Settlement, it is hard to tell what is a street and what is a lake or river.

For many, they are living in the river. Even though camps, trailers, and signs are partially underwater, people call the water level "modest".

"If you're new around here, it's overwhelming," said a resident. "But, if you live around here, this isn't so bad."

A curfew is in effect for the area until dawn.

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