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Flood waters close roads, bridges

Hwy 21 bridge over the Bogue Chitto River (FOX 8 Photo) Hwy 21 bridge over the Bogue Chitto River (FOX 8 Photo)

High water shut down a number of roads on the North Shore, including, late Saturday afternoon, part of Highway 21 between Bush and Covington, thanks to the rising Bogue Chitto River. The worry there was not only for motorists but for the people who live along the river as well.

Tiffany Watts' home sits about a quarter mile off Highway 21, surrounded by woods. But today, the area next to the Bogue Chitto river, is covered with water.

“Very heartbreaking, very nervous, it’s just sad,” Watts said.

Residents who live near the river say the only other recent time they remember the river getting so high was during Hurricane Isaac. It measured just over 19 feet. Saturday, it’s already at almost 21 feet and rising.

Late Saturday afternoon, state police shut down Highway 21 at the Bogue Chitto after DOTD engineers determined the structure wasn't safe. The water so high, it flowed over a power line. The closure, drastically altering traffic in the area.

Louisiana State Police Sgt. Nick Manale says, “This is a major artery coming down from Washington Parish into St. Tammany Parish.”

Water also encompassed parts of I-12 in Tangipahoa Parish, near Robert. Only one lane is open westbound.

“Unfortunately it’s not being helped by every other westbound alternative route is also being impacted by flood waters, we're talking about U.S. 190 coming from Covington to Hammond, Highway 22 coming from Madisonville to Ponchatoula,” Manale said.

State police urge drivers to avoid those areas. Meanwhile, the wait continues for those whose homes and trailers are in the danger area.

“All you can do is pray,” Watts said.

Pray that the water doesn't destroy any more lives.

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