News Alert: Situational Awareness Report 12 January 2016 As of 4:00 p.m.
Posted: 1/12/2016 4:25:24 PM
Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center

Situational Awareness Report

12 January 2016

As of 4:00 p.m.

Operational Period: 3:00 p.m. 1/11/16 through 3:00 p.m. 1/12/16


State EOC Activation Level: Level III

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. Please see the attached slides from the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center. 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 49.35 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 50.50 feet (Major Flood Stage) on January 15th,  2016.


Mississippi River at Natchez is currently at 55.22 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 57.00 feet (Major Flood Stage) on January 17th,  2016.


Mississippi River at Red River Landing is currently at 58.40 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 60.50 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) on January 18th,  2016.


Mississippi River at Baton Rouge is currently at 41.42 feet (Major Flood Stage) and forecasted to crest at 43.5 feet (Major Flood Stage) on January 18th, 2016.


Mississippi River at New Orleans is currently 16.41 feet (Below Flood Stage) and forecasted to crest at 17.0 feet (Minor Flood Stage) on January 13th, 2016.


Atchafalaya River Levels:


Atchafalaya River at Simmesport is currently at 39.47 feet (Below Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 41.50 feet (Below Flood Stage) on January 18th,  2016.


Atchafalaya River at Melville is currently at 30.90 feet (Below Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 32.50 feet (Below Flood Stage) on January 18th,  2016. 


Atchafalaya River at Krotz Springs is currently at 28.48 feet (Below Flood Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 29.50 feet (Minor Flood Stage) on January 19th, 2016.


Atchafalaya River at Butte La Rose is currently at 19.21 feet (Action Stage) and is forecasted to crest at 20.0 feet (Minor Flood Stage) on January 19th,  2016.


Atchafalaya River at Myette Pointe is currently 11.25 feet (Below Flood Stage) and forecasted to crest at 13.00 feet (Below Flood Stage) on January 21st,  2016.


Atchafalaya River at Morgan City is currently 6.95 feet (Minor Flood Stage) and forecasted to crest at 8.00 feet (Moderate Flood Stage) on January 23rd,  2016.


State Actions



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

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.

·        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.

·        In coordination with requesting parishes, DOTD, and USACE, 4,000 additional sandbags and 300 linear feet of HESCO baskets were distributed to Tensas Parish; 30,000 linear feet of HESCO baskets to Concordia Parish; 2,100 linear feet of HESCO for St. Charles Parish; and twenty, one-ton super sandbags for bridge support to Avoyelles Parish.

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

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

o   A Unified Command Group Meeting has been scheduled for 8:00 am Wednesday, January 13, 2016.



o   LANG is utilizing full time personnel and manning the JOC at Camp Beauregard to quickly respond to tasking from the State EOC.

o   The TAC within GOHSEP will continue to match the hours that GOHSEP operates.

o   110 Guardsmen have been deployed to St. Mary parish, and 65 Guardsmen have been deployed to St Landry parish to help with flood fight operations.

o   Over 7,000 Guardsmen are available to respond in the event they are needed.

o   290 Louisiana National Guardsmen currently on State Active Duty.

o   LANG will begin levee patrol from Old River Control Structure to the Arkansas line today January 8, 2016.

o   LANG has deployed 110 guardsmen to St. Mary and 65 to St. Landry and are ready to start flood fight operations

o   Unit at Krotz Springs project has completed 43% of HESCO barrier installation.

o   Unit at Avoca Island project has completed 64% of HESCO barrier installation.

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

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

o   Providing LNOs to parishes and Corps of Engineer headquarters in New Orleans.

o   Providing helicopter support to Red River / Atchafalaya Levee District on 12 January 2016.

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 47 sites due to 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   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   Modifications were performed to the Plaquemine Ferry ramps to allow for continued operations in higher water conditions.

o   DOTD provided 170 cubic yards of sand to Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola; 2,575 linear feet of HESCO baskets to St. Landry Parish; 1,300 cubic yards of sand to St. Landry Parish; 2,000 cubic yards of aggregate to St. Landry Parish; 7,000 linear feet of HESCO baskets to St. Mary Parish; and 30,000 linear feet of HESCO baskets in Vidalia.

o   DOTD has provided traffic control devices for closure of HWY 3196 from HWY 84 and HWY 425 to Fisherman Drive in Concordia Parish.

o   DOTD contracted state vendor will be delivering 400cy of sand in support of the Krotz Springs operational mission today, 1/12/2016.

o   Will be providing personnel in support of levee inspections commencing today 1/12/16.

o   District 58 (Chase) will be providing 8-10 wooden road barriers is support of public safety in Catahoula Parish and will deliver 450 linear ft. of HESCO baskets from Vidalia to Krotz Springs.

o   District 02 (Bridge City) have all HESCO baskets in place in support of providing potential flood mitigation along US 61. District will place one more foot of sand per basket as a precaution. They have also added two dynamic message boards on US 61 in advance of the Spillway Bridge (“No stop on shoulder, emergency stopping only”).

o   District 03 (Lafayette) has a contracted sand vendor that will deliver an additional 525 cy of sand to the Krotz Springs operational mission site.

o   District 05 (Monroe) will provide a representative to attend the Tensas Basin Levee Board meeting today. Will also provide personnel to assist with levee inspections.

o   Provided 170 cubic yards of sand to Angola.

o   Provided 2,000 cubic yards of aggregate to St. Landry Parish.

o   Significant Road Closures: Tensas - LA 3078 - 5 January 2016, Catahoula -  LA 3102 -  8 January 2016, St. Charles - The Bonne Carre Spillway road between River Road to Montz – 4 January 2016, and Concordia - HWY 3196 from HWY 84 and HWY 425 to Fisherman Drive



o   As of today, Jan. 12.  LDWF has set up its forward command center in Krotz Springs to assist with 24 hour patrols to provide public safety, SAR, enforce road/levee closures, and hunting closures as needed in the Morganza floodway area. These patrols will continue until further notice. 

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 attached)

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   Received WebEOC request (15-043) from Catahoula parish to provide waterway security patrols to protect camps and residences due to road closures. 



o   De-energized 5 locations in Avoyelles Parish

o   De-energized 247 locations (primarily camps) in Franklin Parish

o   De-energized 56 locations (primarily camps) in Morehouse Parish

o   De-energized 450 locations in Pointe Coupee

o   De-energized 64 locations in Rapides Parish

o   De-energized 2 locations in St Charles Parish

o   De-energized 8 locations in St Mary Parish

o   De-energized 2 locations in Tensas Parish

o   De-energized 22 location in West Baton Rouge Parish

o   De-energized 1 location in West Feliciana Parish

o   Total without power = 857



o   LDEQ Southeast Regional personnel conducted water sampling and monitoring on 1/8/16 to obtain baseline data prior to the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. Samples were collected at established Water Quality Network Monitoring sites.

o   LDEQ regional office personnel conducted an overflight of the Mississippi River Basin and the Atchafalaya River Basin on 1/11/16. The flight path was along the Mississippi River from Baton Rouge to Old River Control Structure, then to the Morganza Spillway and south over the Morganza Floodway and Atchafalaya Basin Floodway to Bayou Sorrel. Then back to Mississippi River and down river to the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway.  No spills or releases were observed. 


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   Inventory of parish HESCO baskets and sandbagging operations have been accounted for (will deploy if necessary).

o   Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office has tested all maritime equipment and are ready to deploy if necessary.

o   Parish officials are closely watching the aben area of the levee in Donaldsonville with potential to take flood fight actions as river conditions rise.



o   Avoyelles Parish has closed the S&B Cutoff road due high water making a dangerous situation to drive on this road as of Jan10 at 4:00 pm. Due to the possibility of the road washing out or deep water causing injury or drownings,  AOHSEP has staged 8000 sand bag & sand at the Bordelonville (big bend Substation) & Simmesport Fire Departments for resident’s to fill.

o   AOHSEP is monitoring daily and has made contact with approximately 15 home and 63 people in Simmesport that may be affected regarding the concern for flooding when the Atchafalaya River crests at 41.5 ft. on January 15th.

o   We have an additional 20,000 sand bags & 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 about 18 inches over roadway and rising), Vick Rd. From La. Hwy 3102 to Hwy 1196(closed by Catahoula Parish Police Jury water over roadway about a foot), 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   Placement of HESCO baskets to protect water wells is complete. Additional HESCO placement along River Front has begun. No additional levee issues have been reported.

o   Due to the reduced crest of 57 ft. on 1/17, still major flood stage, the City of Vidalia will not move to Phase II of HESCO placement. 

o   DOTD will be picking up approx. 1620 baskets today.  Only one additional sand boil has been reported and worked. 

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

o   Deer crossing signs have placed on the four lane portions of Hwy 84.  



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 seepages or other 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   PCPSO/OHSEP are coordinating with other agencies on levee patrols, road closures, and possible evacuations should the decision be made to open Morganza.

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

o   PCPSO/OHSEP held a stakeholder meeting.



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. USACE is advising levee construction crews in the Belle Chase area on precautions that need to be taken.



o   LBBLD is conducting twice daily levee inspections.



o   DOTD and LANG are continuing work at the HESCO levee site in Krotz Springs, briefings will be held each morning at 9:00 a.m. with town leadership, ALON refinery, and LANG.

o   Sandbags are available for those in need.



o   St. Mary Parish Government placed sand and sand bags under the Amelia Hwy 182 bridge on Friday, January 8. We have returned twice with more sand and bags at that location.

o   Water is crossing the road on Avoca Island where HESCO baskets are being installed, creating muddy conditions for Guardsmen installing baskets. Work is continuing on this mission safely and several thousand feet of HESCOs are in place.

o   St. Mary Levee District reported that the barge was in place in the Bayou Chene. They are driving mooring pilings and sheet piling work.

o   Parish workers will begin shutting the Hanson flood gates because of the high water and south winds.

o   The two 6 inch diesel water pumps are on order for the water plant in Morgan City



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



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

o   Conducted a flyover of the Angola levee system-no issues to report.

o   Assisted Angola with 5K sandbags and parish government dump trucks to deliver sand.

o   Continuing to utilize social media to inform citizens of road closures and other information.

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