News Alert: Situational Awareness Report 16 January 2016 As of 4:00 p.m.
Posted: 1/19/2016 8:07:12 AM
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center

Situational Awareness Report

16 January 2016

As of 4:00 p.m.

Operational Period: 3:00 p.m. 1/15/16 through 3:00 p.m. 1/16/16


State EOC Activation Level: Level IV (Crisis Action Team)

WebEOC Incident: 15-043 Mississippi River Flooding — Statewide — December 2015

State Declaration Proclamation No. 205 BJ 2015


Situation:  Due to the heavy rainfall amounts over the past 30 days, there is concern regarding rising water levels along the Mississippi River and Atchafalaya River. All previous SITREPs can be found in the File Library in WebEOC. Updates to this report will be in red text.


Mississippi River Levels:


Mississippi River at Vicksburg is currently at 50.15 feet (Major Flood Stage) and will continue cresting through January 17.


Mississippi River at Natchez is currently at 56.56 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) and will continue cresting through the morning of January 18.


Mississippi River at Red River Landing is currently at 60.25 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 60.5 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) on January 17, 2016.


Mississippi River at Baton Rouge is currently at 43.05 feet (Major Flood Stage) and forecasted to crest at 43.5 feet (Major Flood Stage) on January 18, 2016.


Mississippi River at New Orleans is currently at 16.94 feet (Below Flood Stage) and will continue cresting.


Atchafalaya River Levels:


Atchafalaya River at Simmesport is currently at 41.05 feet (Below Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 41.5 feet (Below Flood Stage) on January 18, 2016.


Atchafalaya River at Melville is currently at 32.33 feet (Below Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 32.5 feet (Below Flood Stage) on January 18, 2016. 


Atchafalaya River at Krotz Springs is currently at 29.72 feet (Minor Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 30 feet (Minor Flood Stage) on January 18, 2016.


Atchafalaya River at Butte La Rose is currently at 20.02 feet (Minor Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 20.5 feet (Minor Flood Stage) on January 20, 2016.


Atchafalaya River at Myette Pointe is currently 11.9 feet (Below Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 12.5 feet (Below Flood Stage) on January 20, 2016.


Atchafalaya River at Morgan City is currently 7.62 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 8 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) on January 23, 2016.


State Actions



o   A request for a federal emergency declaration was made on Friday, January 8.

o   Unified Command Group Meetings have been held on December 30, 2015, January 8, 2016 and January 13, 2016.

o   Mississippi River and Atchafalaya River Task Force conference calls are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 2:00 pm.

o   Due to the upcoming Monday holiday, the next River Task Force conference call will be held on the following Tuesday and then resume to the regular schedule.

o   GOHSEP Logistics has distributed 78,000 sandbags. Our beginning total was 881,000 sandbags leaving an inventory total of 803,000 sandbags as of 1/12/2016. 

o   Sandbag distribution breakdown: 13,000 sandbags to West Feliciana; 13,000 to Angola Prison; 26,000 to St. Martin Parish; and 26,000 sandbags to Avoyelles Parish.

o   On January 16, the State EOC activation status was updated from Level III to Level IV (Crisis Action Team).



o   262 Louisiana National Guardsmen currently on State Active Duty.

o   LANG is conducting levee patrol from Old River Control Structure to the Arkansas line as of January 8, 2016.

o   A reduction in force in sectors 1 and 2 began on January 15.

o   LANG has deployed 125 Guardsmen to St. Mary Parish for HESCO construction.

o   LANG has installed and filled 2,595 linear feet of HESCO at Krotz Springs, completing the mission in St. Landry Parish.

o   LANG has deployed 11 guardsmen to Pointe Coupee Parish for 24 hour levee patrols.

o   Beginning January 15, 2016 LANG transitioned to 12-hour (daytime only) patrols.

o   Unit at Avoca Island project has completed 82% of HESCO barrier installation.

o   Conducting 24-hour levee patrols along Mississippi River in Levee District 5.

o   Conducting 24-hour levee patrols vicinity of the Morganza flood control structure and Mississippi River in Point Coupee Parish.

o   Providing LNOs to St. Mary Parish and Corps of Engineer headquarters in New Orleans.

o   Operating the Mobile Operations Command Center at St. Mary Parish to maintain critical communications capabilities.



o   Phase II activated on lower Mississippi River on January 6, 2016.

o   Currently tracking 144 inspection sites for broken slope pavement, animal burrows, erosion, and shrinkage cracks.  We are continuing to monitor 5 potential seepage areas and an area of levee slides just south of Algiers Lock.

o   Provided 5,500 linear feet of HESCO and 20,000 tons of RIP RAP to St. Mary Parish.

o   The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway began at 10:00 a.m. on January 10.



o   Phase I activated on upper Mississippi River on December 30, 2015.

o   Phase II activated on upper Mississippi River on January 8, 2016.

o   Provided 300 linear feet of HESCO baskets and 13,000 sandbags to Tensas Levee Board.

o   Provided 2 pumps to the city of Jonesville.

o   USACE is currently tracking 13 medium priority levee slides and 8 medium priority sand boils; no hotspots have been identified.

o   The levees are stable in all three levee patrol sectors.



o   Safety zones have been established for the spillway outlet and Bonnet Carre Anchorage.

o   Coast Guard and Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office are enforcing the Bayou Chene Safety Zone as the barge is in place and the waterway is closed to traffic.

o   Coast Guard is continuing shore side and waterside patrols of waterfront facilities, barge fleeting areas, and the levee system for monitoring and photographing water levels and hazardous conditions at key locations.

o   Additional vessel traffic control measures reducing tow size and/or use of assist vessel has been implemented in Baton Rouge Harbor and Berwick Bay.

o   Aerial patrols are being conducted to identify key areas of concern.

o   Coast Guard vessel Traffic Center New Orleans is enforcing marine traffic management issues at Wilkinson Point, 81-mile point, Bonnet Carre, Baton Rouge Harbor, and Algeirs Point.



o   An observation flight in conjunction with LANG is pending for the Morganza Spillway.  LSP Air Support is on standby to conduct other observation flights as requested.

o   Troop E: Assisting Concordia Parish S.O. with extra patrols on LA 3196 near Vidalia (large amount of wildlife on the roadway), and LA 3102 near Larto (closed to local traffic only due to high water).



o   DOTD has completed all 12 assigned mission tasks in WebEOC.

o   Provided 2,575 linear feet of HESCO, 2,000 cubic yards of aggregate (rock) and 1,331.8 cubic yards of sand in St. Landry

o   Provided 7,000 linear feet of HESCO and 6,000 cubic yards of sand in St. Mary

o   Provided 170 cubic yards of sand to Angola in West Feliciana Parish.

o   Provided 30,000 linear feet of HESCO in Vidalia.

o   District 58 (Chase) provided 10 wooden road barriers is support of public safety in Catahoula Parish.

o   District 05 (Monroe) will provide personnel to assist with levee inspections.

o   Significant Road Closures: Tensas - LA 3078, Catahoula -  LA 3102, St. Charles - The Bonne Carre Spillway road between River Road to Montz, and Concordia - HWY 3196 from HWY 84 and HWY 425 to Fisherman Drive

o   The Plaquemines Ferry is scheduled to close on Monday and will remain closed and expected to reopen between January 25 and 28.



o   LDWF agents will provide SAR and/or public assistance and enforce hunting closure if needed in the Bonnet Carre Spillway area.

o   Emergency Declaration Deer Hunting Closure in NE Louisiana - reopened on Saturday, Jan. 9th except for area between levee and river which remain closed until further notice.

o   High-Water Benchmark Deer Hunting Closure  in certain areas of Deer Hunting Area 9-closure is in effect as a result of the Atchafalaya reaching 18' at Butte LaRose.

o   Emergency Declaration Deer Closure for the Morganza/Bonnet Carre Spillways- this closure will go into effect 1/2 hour after sunset on the dates that each respective gate is opened.

o   Bonnet Carre began opening on Sunday, Jan. 10 so this closure is in effect (map can be found in WebEOC)

o   Morganza locks opening is TBD (Deer Hunting closure not in effect) -LDWF 24 hour patrols of the Morganza Floodway will begin the day after the gates are opened at 12:01 am (if they are opened)

o   LDWF has cancelled all lottery waterfowl hunts on the South Farm unit of the Sherburne WMA due to extensive flooding of the site.  The South Farm Unit is located in Iberville Parish approx. 1 mile north of Ramah. A news release was issued on January 14.

o   Any additional Hunting Closures and/or changes to existing closures will be provided in our SITREP as well as Department news releases on our website.

o   LDWF is coordinating with Catahoula Parish and Tensas Levee Board to provide relief/support patrols (water) for security detail in the following areas: South of the Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal, Cross Bayou, saline Bayou, Hunt Road, and Dewy Willis WMA.



o   Total without power = 1,177



o   LDEQ Southeast Regional personnel conducted water sampling and monitoring on January 8 to obtain baseline data prior to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Samples were collected at established Water Quality Network Monitoring sites.



o   State Fire Marshal assets include 10 swift water rescue teams on standby, 63 flat bottom crews available, and personnel and a command/communication vehicle to support SAR missions.

o   State Fire Marshal will continue to monitor these casino ramp slopes until the Mississippi River starts to recede.


Parish Actions

All involved parishes are monitoring the situation and on standby for response efforts.



o   JTF7 is conducting waterside, boat-based patrols between MM167 and M300. These patrols are increasing in frequency as the river rises and are more prevalent in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area. The focus areas for these patrols include:

o   Levee integrity. Checking for levee slippage, wash out, or other potential problems.

o   Barge fleeting area patrols. Checking for barges that may be at risk of parted mooring cables.

o   Violations of special regulations put into place for maritime safety.

o   Report any motor vehicles on the levees.

o   Report any tow boats pushing up barges on the levee.

o   Specials Missions as they arise.

o   On January 15, two JTF7 deputies patrolled the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge Harbor to south of LSU, no anomalies or hazards detected.



o   Implemented No Wake Zone in designated areas.



o   Avoyelles Parish has closed the S&B Cutoff road due high water making.

o   AOHSEP has staged 8,000 sand bag & sand at the Bordelonville (big bend Substation) & Simmesport Fire Departments for residents to fill.

o   AOHSEP is monitoring daily the 15 homes and 63 people in Simmesport that may experience flooding when the Atchafalaya River crests at 41.5 ft. tomorrow, January 15.

o   We have an additional 20,000 sand bags & twenty (20) 2000 lbs. super bags & sand ready to deploy to any area in the parish that is needed.

o   Cleco has begun disconnecting all the dwellings at Grassy Lake Smith Bay in the la WMA, also all of Grand lake area will also be disconnected.        

o   The RRABB is monitoring all the levees & will report any problems to AOHSEP.



o   La. 3102 at Larto Lake Control Structure (water was 18 inches over roadway and rising), Vick Rd. From La. Hwy 3102 to Hwy 1196 (closed by Catahoula Parish Police Jury water over roadway), Hunt Rd. south of Catahoula Lake Diversion Canal Bridge (closed by LDWF water over roadway).

o   LDWF is patrolling Diversion Canal Rd and Hunt Rd, Cross Bayou, Saline Bayou, Larto Lake for protection of personal and LDWF property.



o   A section of Hwy 3196 was closed due to wildlife refuge and on lookers.

o   LANG, 5th Levee District and Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office is conducting 24 hour patrols of the levee.



o   Department of Maintenance / Drainage Maintenance are conducting levee assessments daily.



o   Iberville Sheriff’s Office is utilizing JTF7 members and equipment to assist in extra Mississippi River levee patrols as requested by the Atchafalaya Levee Board to keep individuals off the levee.



o   East Jefferson Levee District is conducting daily inspections up to 1500 feet from the levee centerline. There are no issues at this time.

o   West Jefferson Levee District is performing daily river patrols from sunrise to sunset. Expected areas of seepage have been identified.



o   National Guard troops are continuing to patrol the levee in Madison Parish to keep traffic to a minimum. Levee District is only reporting 2 sand boils in the parish but neither is posing problems or requiring sand bags. Road Superintendent is reporting no road closures or high water problems.



o   Notified by Amtrak that operations over the Bonnet Carre Spillway have ceased due to closure of the track by Canadian National due to debris and erosion observed around bridge pilings. USACE, CN and Amtrak continue to communicate.

o   Amtrak is running a bus bridge for the City of New Orleans line (#58/59) between NOUPT and Jackson, MS (and back). This has been scheduled through January 31, 2016 at present.  

o   New Orleans Public Belt has lost access to Pauline Yard due to Floodgate #68 being closed.  They were able to move cars that would be needed.  This has caused a minor operating impact due to lost capacity.  

o   Around 12:17 a.m. on January 15, a barge struck an oil facility’s dock near the Perry St. Wharf at MM 95.8 LMR. The collision caused five barges to break free and drift downriver. An estimated 20 gallons of residual oil was discharged from fuel lines connected to the dock. One of the drifting barges struck the ARMIGER Ferry. In response, VTC closed the river from MM 96 to MM 88. All barges were recovered and secured with minimal damage. USCG and the facility’s marine surveyor continue to assess the extent of damage. The river was reopened to all commercial traffic at approximately 10:15 a.m. that morning.



o   PCPSO/LANG have started extra patrols from the WBR line to LA-15 along the Mississippi River.

o   LANG patrol notified OHSEP of possible seepage from Old River Landing near marker 950 in field 150 meters away from the levee. OHSEP has notified ABLB of this possible seepage.



o   Parish government currently has 50,000 sandbags filled and 130,000 empty sandbags in storage ready to be filled if necessary. Also available is 6,000 feet of Tiger Dams including pumps.

o   Parish is inspecting the 110 miles of levee daily. Currently there are only minor issues being monitored or repaired daily. USACE is advising levee construction crews in the Belle Chase area on precautions that need to be taken.

o   Parish received 240 pallets for sandbag storage. Crews are continuing to fill sandbags and have placed an order for additional 3X3 bags.

o   A temporary water intake pump was put in place in early December prior to the rising of the river at Belle Chasse Water Plant due to construction of levee system in the area. The pump had to be removed due to the high water in the area, crews will continue to monitor it daily.



o   LBBLD is conducting daily levee inspections. No major issues, minor issues are being monitored and repaired daily.



o   There is seepage near Harry's One Stop at 18356 River Road in Montz. Pontchartrain Levee District is aware of this seepage. USACE believes it’s from an abandoned well.



o   LANG has deployed 60 guardsmen to the parish for flood fighting operations.

o   DOTD has provided 2,575 linear feet of HESCO baskets, 1,331.8 cubic yards of sand, and 2,000 cubic yards of aggregate.

o   Krotz Springs and Melville are offering sandbags to those who may be impacted by flooding.

o   St. Landry parish is gathering financial impacts of response efforts.



o   St. Martin Parish Government has closed the public boat launch located in Uncle Dick Davis Park, Butte La Rose, due to rising water and wake concerns.



o   St Mary Parish is working on the 3 HESCO mission sites on the Avoca Island. Site 1 and 3 have all HESCOs installed and is awaiting sand to finish filling the baskets. Site 2 is 100% complete. Additional sand to complete these sites were delivered on Friday, January 15. The projected completion date is Sunday, January 17.

o   Two National Guard Liaisons Officers are stationed at the new Homeland Security EOC in Morgan City.

o   Barges have been put in placed at Bayou Chene to prevent potential backwater flooding issues.

o   The sheet piling mission in Bayou Chene to secure the barge in place is 75% complete and the rip rap rock is being poured.

o   Parish workers have begun shutting the Hanson flood gates due to high water and south winds.

o   Sand and sand bags are available for pick up under the Amelia Hwy 182 bridge to assist residents with flood fighting.



o   Bagging effort for Old Yucatan Ring Levee is proceeding as planned. Bagging materials have been staged for additional placements.



o   Sand and sandbags are available to residents at the West Terrebonne Fire Stations located in Gibson, Gibson East, Donner and Bayou Black Fire Department on Savannah Rd.

o   Public Works is restoring and conducting daily inspections of the potato levees.

o   Terrebonne Levee District is on location at Tabor Canal to begin the removal of the gate in order to begin dredging and placing material on the ridge.

o   Terrebonne Levee District has completed the installation of five-hundred seventy-five (575) 3,000 lb. sandbags at Tabor Canal.

o   Contractors continue to refurbish the existing levees from the 2011 flooding.



o   La Hwy 1263 closed from Royal St. in St. Francisville to Mississippi River.

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