SLIDELL, La. (CBSDFW.COM) – Already swollen and powerful, the Tangipahoa River threatened to flood anyone living within a half mile of its banks on Thursday. Homeowners and officials in Louisiana watched nervously, hoping that a dam could hold back those flood waters caused by the fury of Isaac.
A convoy of ambulances — plus 200 buses and boats — were placed on standby, ready to evacuate up to 40,000 people. “Let’s hope it turns out to be a false alarm,” said Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. “Let’s hope the levy doesn’t breach, the dam doesn’t breach up in Mississippi. Let’s hope the water stays up there.”
But over in Slidell, to the east, Karolynne Fontenot waded through thigh-deep water that was not there when Isaac moved out of town. On Thursday morning, water spilled out of a bayou and into the city’s south side, flooding many homes where residents thought they had made it through Isaac’s worst. “We came and checked here this morning and this is what we came into,” Fontenot said. “We started picking stuff up left and right, trying to save what we could.”
And to make matters worse, it does not appear that anyone in the neighborhood was prepared for flooding. Homes were not guarded by sandbags or any other barriers. “We never have anything like that,” said resident Laura Williams. Her home was one of the few to stay dry, because it was raised up last year. “We have no warnings, no nothing.”
Drivers were stranded, roads were closed and the flooding was a complete surprise.
Additional rain bands moved over the area again Thursday night and Friday morning, only adding to the problems. Residents spent the night either sheltering from the storms or once again evacuated. It was a night when most people expected to be cleaning up their homes.
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