Webster Parish and the surrounding areas will be under a flash flood watch beginning Wednesday night as Tropical Storm Cindy makes its way north.
Michael Berry, senior meteorologist with the Shreveport National Weather Service, said the flash flood watch would be in effect until Friday at 7 p.m. He expects the area, whether it hits as far east as the Sabine Pass or as far west as Homer in Claiborne Parish, to get a drenching 4 to 6 inches of rain with the possibility of more in isolated areas.
“Its remnants will start moving northward during the day Thursday, and it will take a track of extreme northeast Texas or northwest Louisiana. It’s kind of too early to tell yet, but it’s pretty close to Shreveport. It could be as far east as Tyler or it could be as far west as Homer. Regardless of where it tracks, we feel pretty confident that it will weaken quickly as it moves northward, and it will no longer be a tropical storm once it gets up our way.”
Webster Parish Public Works Supervisor Teddy Holloway said the parish has sandbags stored at Camp Minden, but they are going to watch the weather and wait to hear from Office of Homeland Security officials before making a decision to haul them from the warehouse.
“We don’t have very many here right now, and we’re just going to wait to see what happens,” he said. “With the gates open at Lake Bistineau and with it being so low right now, I’m not expecting any problems there. Otherwise, we’re just going to wait.”
The storm is a very weak tropical storm, Berry said, moving at about 8 miles per hour. It will remain weak as it makes landfall sometime Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The most he expects to get from it is heavy rains.
Jenny Reynolds, director of the Webster Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said for those who live in flood prone areas, now is the time to prepare.
“Heavy rainfall with the potential for flash flooding is the primary concern for our area,” she said. “If your home or business is prone to easy flash flooding, you are encouraged to make preparations to protect your property.”
Reynolds said sandbags will be available at noon to Webster Parish residents for Webster Parish properties only. Sandbags can be picked up at the Sibley and Sarepta parish barns.
“We will continue updating our Facebook page as forecasts and timing is adjusted,” she said.