The New York Times opens its story on what's happened to homes along Louisiana's Red River, which runs through the Shreveport area, by focusing on one: built in 1952, it now holds more than 2 feet of water—along with dead fish, snakes, turtles, alligators, armadillos, and skunks. It's not a unique scene. Heavy rainfall has brought the Red River to its highest level in 70 years, with that level peaking at 37 feet on Monday. The flood level is 30 feet, reports CBS News, and the Times quotes a Weather.com meteorologist as saying the river level in Shreveport, population 450,000, will hold fast above 33 feet through the weekend. The Weather Network reports hundreds of home are under water; in Bossier City, homeowners fought that fate by using more than half a million sandbags.
The water level could remain high for weeks with more rain on the way, adding to runoff from flooding in Texas and Oklahoma. Shreveport's riverfront is almost entirely drowned, while residents were spotted moving through neighborhoods in canoes. Some 35 roads, including sections of interstates, were closed across the city as of yesterday. Gov. Bobby Jindal has already issued a state of emergency and the National Guard is helping monitor levees and move sandbags. "We have to fight this all day and all night," a woman whose Shreveport home was surrounded by water tells the Shreveport Times. "We're literally holding back the Red, and the Red is mighty."