Harvey Headed for Red River

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The National Hurricane Center predicts that Tropical Storm Harvey may dump 4 to 10 inches of rain on Red River Parish. See the scale on the right margin of the map. The storm is expected to move out of our area by late Friday.

There is a Flash Flood Watch for the northwest portion of the state, including Red River Parish. The weather service says:

Heavy rainfall, associated with Tropical Storm Harvey will continue to occur within the strong outer rain bands extending well north from the center of Harvey. These heavy rain bands may train over the same areas, increasing the likelihood of flash flooding across deep east Texas and north Louisiana. Rainfall amounts of 3-6 inches will be common across north Louisiana with heavier amounts of 8-10 inches over deep east Texas and adjacent areas of west central Louisiana.

Flooding of roads, low lying and poor drainage areas will be possible. If encountering flooded roadways, remember to turn around, don`t drown.

 

Emergency Preparedness in Red River Parish

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Tuesday afternoon Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness hosted a National Weather Service Webinar and Governors Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) conference call.

The groups and Agencies that attended the Webinar include RED RIVER EMS, RED RIVER POLICE JURY, RED RIVER E911, RED RIVER FIRE DISTRICT, RED RIVER SHERIFFS OFFICE, CHRISTUS COUSHATTA HEALTH CARE CENTER, VILLAGE OF EDGEFIELD, RED RIVER CORNERS OFFICE, RED RIVER HEALTH UNIT, RED RIVER PARISH SCHOOL BOARD, FRESENIUS MEDICAL, ADVANTAGE HOME HEALTH, RED RIVER COUNCIL ON AGING, SPECIALTY REHAB, COUSHATTA POLICE DEPARTMENT, & TOWN OF COUSHATTA.

The meeting was held in the Police Jury Meeting Room regarding the concern of Tropical Storm Harvey. It is anticipated to pass through our area ‪Wednesday – Thursday evening‬.
The topics discussed include.
Main Impacts by NWS.

Flash flooding – NW and N Central LA ‪through Thu evening‬. Flooding impacts may be felt through this weekend and may expand in area depending on storm track.
Winds – Extreme southern portions of N LA Wed. Saturated soils will contribute to the possibility of downed trees.

Lesser Impacts
Isolated tornadoes – All of N LA, with the greatest threat across NE LA Wed.
River flooding – Minor flooding possible on small tributaries by weekend.

Uncertainty – Adjustments to the overall track and intensity continue. Areas of heaviest rainfall, as well as wind threat still somewhat uncertain, but confidence improving.

There is a possibility of some strong wind gusts forecast is for 25-30 MPH. However, Gusts to 40 MPH Early ‪Wed morning – Thursday morning‬ Trees easily can be uprooted due to saturated soils.
We are monitoring this storm with NWS and The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

Red River Parish Police jury is currently handing out sandbags to the public at a limit of 15 per house hold. These sand bags can be picked up at the police jury road barn behind Dairy Queen between the hours of 8:00am and 3:00pm.

Always be prepared and have a game plan. Good items to always have in the event of any emergency is food/water (enough for at least 3 days), flashlight, batteries, and other emergency supplies ready and available.

We will keep everyone up to date if there are any changes. Please follow the Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security Facebook page for updates.
https://m.facebook.com/redriverready/ss

The above submitted by Shane G. Hubbard, Director Red River Parish Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP).

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Winning is Easy

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The flyer tells you to “Keep calm and buy raffle tickets” for Riverdale’s second annual Rebel Fest. It is just a little over a week until the big day.

Admission is free for everyone, so come to Riverdale Academy on Saturday, September 9th. The fun starts at 3:00 pm. There are games and competitions for members of the whole family. And Shaver’s Catering will be serving dinner plates from 5:00 to 7:00 pm for $10 per plate.

One of the organizers of Rebel Fest, Merritt Cason told the Journal “Raffle tickets are available now from any student or parent. They are also available for purchase at the school, in the office. We will also be selling tickets at the event. “

Rebel Fest would like to thank the many businesses and individuals who make this event possible. The Gold ($1,000) sponsors are Bank of Coushatta, Bierden Construction, Caney Creek Land & Timber, Christus Coushatta, Ed Lester Farms, Fairview Trucking, Inc, Headland Farms, Josh & Rebecca Cason, Loggy Bayou Blends, Rock Powersports, Rocket-Nettles Funeral Home & Nettles Flower Shop, Sawyer and Merritt Cason, Shaver Farms, Stuart’s Electrical Contracting, Will & Heather Almond, Williams Equipment (Bobcat), and Winn & Dawn Almond.

Silver ($500) sponsors of this years Rebel Fest are Almond Bros. Lumber, Beard’s Automotive Parts & Supply, Chevyland, Endurance Real Estate Partners, LLC, EnE Consultants, LLC, International Paper – Red River (Campti), Lott Oil, Natchitoches Meat Pie Co., Plum Nelly – A Flower Farm, Posey’s Sport Center, Red River Livestock, and Sabine State Bank & Trust Co.

The Rebel Fest organizers ask you to thank these sponsors for making Riverdale’s 2nd Annual Rebel Fest a great success. Rebel Fest is the fall fundraiser for Riverdale Academy. All activities take place at the school. The fun begins at 3:00 pm on Saturday, September 9th.

Sandbags Available

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Workers at the Red River Parish Police Jury’s work barn at the fair grounds have been busy filling sandbags. Residents in need of them may pick them up.

Work Barn Shop Forman Dennis Thomas told The Journal, “We have about 1,000 sandbags, maybe up to 1.500 filled and ready. Come by and get what you need. We will do more if needed.”

To find the work barn, take US 71 north and turn right at Dairy Queen. The entrance gate is on your left just before the entrance to the fair grounds. It is across from the voting precinct.

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Saturday is Moving Sale Day

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Saturday morning at 8:00 am the doors open on the Moving Sale at the local VFW Post on Highway 71 south. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7287 and Auxiliary 7287 are relocating to smaller quarters. Therefore all furniture, appliances and other stuff from their current location is being offered to the public at “garage sale” prices.

Barry McCoy is the Post Commander and he said, “We have too much stuff to move to a new location.” The President of the Auxiliary echoed McCoy’s statements. Dawn Brewer said, “We are here to serve veterans and their families. The kitchen ‘stuff’ we needed before is what someone else can use.”

McCoy said there is a great assortment of items offered. “We have 8-foot folding tables and metal folding chairs, two refrigerator/freezers, executive office chairs, deer stand chairs, and a wide assortment of hardware, electrical, and decorative items. When you have been in one place as long as the VFW has been in its present location, stuff just piles up.”

Doors open at 8:00 am Saturday. No early birds! Cash only and all sales are final. This sale will be held at the Post on Highway 71 south of Coushatta.

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The Guard is On Duty

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Units of the Louisiana National Guard across the state are on duty, ready to be deployed for rescue or other work as Hurricane Harvey moves through. The local guard unit is involved in the preparations.

Commander of C-Troop of the 108th Cav said their troops are on State Active Duty Status. Captain Chad Ford reviewed work being done in the unit motor pool to assure that all vehicles are fueled and mechanically ready. Ford pointed out for The Journal “high wheeled vehicles that can go through flood water. There is a bus and other vehicles to transport personnel.”

While they await further orders, Captain Ford says they are brushing up on operation of inflatable boats that the unit will be taking with them. Ford said, “If the weather holds we would like to take the boats out to Grand Bayou and practice operation of our watercraft.”

“Task Force Coushatta,” said Ford “is on standby, ready to execute assigned missions as we are needed to support civil authorities.”

 

Harvey Already Taking a Bite

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If you filled up with gas in Coushatta Tuesday afternoon you know that Hurricane or Tropical Storm Harvey is having an effect. On Monday afternoon ABC News reported that the large Exxon refinery in Houston had been shut down because of the storm. That news story estimated nationwide fuel prices would rise 20 to 40 cents per gallon as a result of the storm.

About 8:30 this morning the price for regular unleaded around Coushatta was at $2.19 per gallon (see photo of the Conoco Station). It had been steady there for several weeks. By 9:30 it had jumped a dime with Chevron priced at $2.29 for cash and more ($2.34) for charge purchases. Back to the Conoco and the price had increased there to $2.26 by 11:30 am.

At 5:00 pm the price at the Country Market for Phillips 66 was $2.34. Conoco had also gone up to $2.34.

Just a thought (an editorial one): How can the value of gas that is in the ground at a station suddenly be more? The economics I learned in college say it cannot. “Who determines gas prices?” is a great question that has escaped journalists for years.

The late Russell B. Long, US Senator from Louisiana was quoted as saying “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me. Tax that fellow behind the tree.” Could that be the same person setting gas prices? (end of editorial)

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More Than a Clean Up

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A Shreveport man lands in the Red River Parish Jail after cleanup duties turn to a clean out at a Coushatta store. Management at Rivertown Market had noticed that inventory of cigarettes and other tobacco products had been off over the past few weeks.

They reviewed security footage and were surprised to see someone helping them self to carton after carton of cigarettes. The security video showed a man filled his backpack with smokes.

Store officials say the thefts occurred after hours, at times when the floor cleaning crew was at work in the store. The Sheriff’s Department was called and the security video turned over.

The weekly arrest report from the parish jail includes the arrest of Khristopher Vanroosendaal at 7:09 pm on August 23rd. Vanroosendaal is charged with theft over $750 but less than $5,000. Bond has not been set at last check.

Sheriffs Department Public Information Officer Troy Murray said, “I can confirm the theft was from Rivertown Market. The stolen items were tobacco products and ‘other merchandise’.”

Mexican Restaurant Reopening

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The local Mexican restaurant in Coushatta has re-opened. Spokesperson Sena Chavez told the Journal “the fire damage was pretty minor and we were able to get things taken care of much sooner than we expected.”

A kitchen fire at 11:29 am on August 20th had closed the restaurant. Fire Chief Shane Felts described it as “a small stove top fire.” Felts added, “There was very little damage.

The restaurant is located on Highway 71 next to Shaver’s and across from Kilpatrick Funeral Home.

ETC… For August 30th

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NSU has announced that all classes at the Natchitoches campus are cancelled for Wednesday, August 30th. Also the first Quarterback Club luncheon will not be held on Wednesday.

I’ve been talking to some folks who have spent many more years in the parish than the rest of us. In general they say this August is most unusual. Much too wet for August. And it’s been too cool. Not that anyone I asked wants to return to sweltering heat and dry weather.

A reminder that you still have time to register your children and grandchildren for the fall football program at Open Door Fellowship. Laurie Lowring said they have many children registered, and there is always room for more. She would like to have a few more volunteers. Call ODF Sports at 932-6267.

Be on the lookout for deals that seem too good to be true. The Better Business Bureau of northwest Louisiana is warning residents that with Hurricane Harvey comes scammers in its wake. If you have damage or any other repair work make sure the repairmen you hire are legit.

Northwestern State University is putting together a team of students, faculty and staff volunteers to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey in Houston and southeast Texas. “We in Louisiana are all too aware of how devastating a flood can be and the one in Houston is catastrophic,” said Dr. Curt Phifer, a professor of biology at NSU who is organizing the relief initiative. “Last year, people from all over the U.S. came to Louisiana to help flood victims in the Denham Springs and Baton Rouge area and just over 10 years ago, teams came to help Louisianians affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This is our chance to return the favor.”