Red River floods in Louisiana at highest levels in 70 years


© Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office
Red River flooding, 08 June 2015.

Northern parts of Louisiana, in particular the city of Shreveport and the parishes of Bossier and Caddo, have experienced major flooding after the Red River overflowed.

May 2015 was the wettest month on record in Oklahoma and Texas, where huge amounts of rain fell across the Southern Plains. Since then the water has made its way downstream, swelling levels of the Red River in Louisiana.

Levels of the Red river at Shreveport have been at major flood stage since last week, and are expected to remain so for at least 3 or 4 more days. Hundreds of homes and businesses have been flooded, as have wide areas of farmland and several roads in Bossier and Caddo parishes. Louisiana National Guard have been dispatched to help shore up flood defences. No deaths or serious injuries have been reported.

The video below shows the Red River swallowing up buildings, trees, and roadways across the Shreveport and Bossier areas.

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© U.S. Army National Guard, Spc. Joshua Barnett, Louisiana National Guard Public Affairs Office
Louisiana National Guardsmen work to reinforce a temporary wall constructed to hold back water that overtopped a floodwall near the Clyde Fant Parkway and Jimmy Davis Highway in Shreveport, La., June 8, 2015.

Levels of the Red River in Louisiana

The Red River at Shreveport stood at 36.84 feet as of 2am on 11 June 2015. Levels have fallen slightly from the peak of 37.14 feet measured at 4pm on 09 June 2015, which is the highest crest recorded in the last 70 years.

Levels are expected to continue falling over the next few days, although they still have a long way to go to fall back down to "moderate" flood stage, of 31.5 feet.

According to NWS / NOAA records, the highest recorded level of the Red River at Shreveport is 45.90 feet, from way back in 1849. The most recent highest level was in 1945, when the river stood at 38.30 feet.

There are major flood warnings from the NWS at three other points along the Red River in Louisiana.

At Bayou Dorcheat, the river is expected to continue rising until Friday 12 June. River levels at Coushatta already appear to be falling slightly. Further downstream at Grand Encore however, levels are predicted to increase further over the coming days, and likewise at Alexandria, where the Red River is currently at minor flood stage, but is expected to reach 38 feet ad moderate flood stage by Sunday or Monday.