May 24, 2024
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FLOODS and Flows
as of November 29, 2023

Drought and Low Flow from the USGS WaterWatch seven-day average streamflow compared with historic streamflow

Severe hydrologic drought
  • watershed Region 3 east of the Tensas River including East Carroll, Madison and Tensas Parishes *new* rating Wednesday
  • watershed Region 1 Saline Bayou channel including central Bienville Parish and the border of Natchitoches and Winn Parishes
  • watershed Region 7 following the Tangipahoa River in Tangipahoa Parish
Moderate drought
  • watershed Region 5 including Rapides, Vermilion, Abbeville, Lafayette Parishes
  • watershed Region 4 including the northeast corner of Vernon, central Allen Parish, northwest Jefferson Davis, northeast Calcasieu, southeast Beauregard Counties
  • watershed Region 5 including most of Cameron and all of Vermilion Parish
Below normal moisture ratings
  • watershed Region 3 including Union and Morehouse Parish
  • watershed Region 3 Concordia, Catahoula and north Avoyelles Parishes
  • watershed Region 2 including Jackson, Winn and Caldwell Parishes
  • watershed Region 1 including west half of Bossier Parish
  • watershed Region 3 narrow strip along the Tensas River and central Morehouse Parish
  • West side of watershed Region 4, southwest De Soto and Sabine Parish, west side of Vernon, Beauregard, Calcasieu and thin strip of west Cameron Parish
3 USGS streamflow gages are rated low today
  • Region 1 Saline Bayou is flowing low near Lucky - running 4.26 ft deep at 9.79 cubic feet per second after draining 154 square miles
  • Region 3 Tensas River is flowing low today at Tendal - running 5.68 ft deep at 1.41 cubic feet per second after draining 309 square miles
  • Region 7 Tangipahoa River is rated low today at Robert - running 6.69 ft deep at 251 cubic feet per second after draining 646 square miles upstream area

Upstream Mississippi Basin flow news
Rain expected Thursday

Prolonged and severe drought poses serious challenges to drinking water facilities to maintain supply of quality water. Note BWA's caused by water line breaks occuring in the areas with prolonged and severe drought, including the City of Franklin in St Mary's Parish. Lower water flow and depth levels in the streams and rivers contribute to increased water temperature, concentration of contaminants, lower dissolved oxygen levels and higher stress in the aquatic habitat. Saltwater incursion threatens drinking water as lower levels in the rivers invite sea water further inland to level the estuary channels.

See, and for a snapshot of Upper Mississippi streamflows measured and rated by the United States Geological Survey that indicate conditions upstream of Louisiana today.

Flows above 99th percentile at risk of flooding:
0 USGS streamflow gages above 99th percentile high flow or action stage

As sourced from USGS Waterwatch Current Streamflow



What is the difference between a Flood Watch and a Flood Warning issued by the National Weather Service?

  • Flash Flood Warning: Take Action! A Flash Flood Warning is issued when a flash flood is imminent or occurring. If you are in a flood prone area move immediately to high ground. A flash flood is a sudden violent flood that can take from minutes to hours to develop. It is even possible to experience a flash flood in areas not immediately receiving rain.

  • Flood Warning: Take Action! 

    A Flood Warning is issued when the hazardous weather event is imminent or already happening. A Flood Warning is issued when flooding is imminent or occurring.

  • Flood Advisory: Be Aware:

    A Flood Advisory is issued when a specific weather event that is forecast to occur may become a nuisance.

    A Flood Advisory is issued when flooding is not expected to be bad enough to issue a warning. However, it may cause significant inconvenience, and if caution is not exercised, it could lead to situations that may threaten life and/or property.

  • Flood Watch: Be Prepared:

    A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for a specific hazardous weather event to occur.

    A Flood Watch is issued when conditions are favorable for flooding. It does not mean flooding will occur, but it is possible.

Be prepared, stay safe through flood events

March 13, 2023


Did you know,

6 inches of moving water can knock an adult down

And 12 inches of flowing water can carry a car away!




Stay safe during flood events, watch for flood alerts in your area, here in BLACK.

Avoid driving into flooded areas, and take caution trying to drive out of a flood zone.

Avoid using bridges over high flowing rivers.

If possible, move to higher ground, get uphill, or move to a higher floor in your building or home,

leaving yourself an exit to the roof if necessary. Do not become trapped in an attic!


Keep dry food, bottled water, flashlight and extra batteries, cell phone charger packed in go bags for all of your household and pets.

Have flotation devices accessible for every member of your household in case you need to evacuate on foot.


If you must drive to get out of a flood zone,

have a high-quality window breaking/seatbelt cutting device in your vehicle, secured to your rearview mirror for fast retrieval.

You may not be able to reach your car’s glove box in an emergency situation.

The contents of seat and door storage compartments and center console may become displaced in an emergency,

causing you to lose track of items that are not secured.


Even if your vehicle has rolled or tipped over, as long as you are still belted in, you should be able to reach the rear-view mirror to retrieve your emergency tool.

Keep your seatbelt on until the vehicle has made impact with the water body.  It will often float on the surface for a short time.

There is time to get out through an open side window.  Act calmly, deliberately and quickly, without hesitation.


Use your tool to cut your seatbelt if the buckle will not release in the normal way.

Use your window breaking device toward a corner of your side window to break the safety glass. 

Attempting to break the window at the center may not work.

Windshields and rear windows are reinforced and will not break as easily as the side windows.

If your vehicle is in any danger of becoming submerged, you need to get out before it goes underwater.

Submerged vehicles may roll over or invert underwater, disorienting you and others inside. 


Get familiar with your local streams and rivers, know your normal flow levels and check the USGS Waterwatch Current Streamflow for the real time flow volume and depth.

Find the monitoring sites upstream and downstream nearest your home and sign up for high flow alerts.





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