Flood water swallows I-12; Voluntary evacuation for low-lying Tangipahoa
HAMMOND - There is a voluntary evacuation for areas along the Tangipahoa River in jeopardy of experiencing flooding similar to the flood event of 1983.
Saturday, Parish President Robby Miller encouraged people in low-lying areas to leave. Miller is calling for a voluntary evacuation of areas south of US 190 in Hammond from Airport Road east to the St. Tammany Parish line.
In this area Saturday, I-12 experienced flooding as water covered westbound lanes. Pictures posted on Facebook showed vehicles having to use the shoulder to move around the water. The traffic jam stretched 13 miles.
Inside the voluntary evacuation area, people used boats to rescue others from rising water. Witnesses said they helped people and animals out of flood water.
Bridges should go over water, not water over bridges. 83' was the last time it flooded here, but not like this. pic.twitter.com/4QcHRhYSW1— Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. (@onevisionary) March 12, 2016
“We have daylight. We have a break in the rain. If you think you may need to leave, now is the time to do so,” Miller begged in a news release issued Saturday morning when it stopped raining.
Miller said water is receding in areas along the north end of the parish. But, it was a different story for those in the southern end near Ponchatoula.
A state helicopter landed at Ponchatoula High School so leaders could survey the flooding situation nearby. Highway 22 is impassable about two miles away where flood water from Big Branch creek and the Tangipahoa River have swallowed the highway, businesses and homes.
The rain event cannot and should be be underestimated. pic.twitter.com/57eeX7UTNe— Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. (@onevisionary) March 12, 2016
The Tangipahoa River is forecast to crest Saturday night.
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