Sabine River crests, more flooding expected at Texas-Louisiana border

HOUSTON - Floodwaters continue to creep into homes across Orange after the Sabine River crested overnight.

After evacuating her home on Monday, Debra Walker returned to her street Thursday afternoon to find what looks a river.  “When you work hard for your stuff and then this kind of stuff happens, it’s devastating,” Walker said.

She says she now has about 4-5 inches of water in her house, something she managed to avoid, even during hurricanes. “My house has always been the one that escaped everything, so for me to see this here, I don’t know how people do it,” Walker said.

Down the street Christopher Chargois has chosen not to evacuate the home he grew up in.  “I mean I’m fighting it, I’m trying to stay in and just do the best I can, trying to save as much as I can for my parents,” Chargois said.

In his living room he placed his couches and everything he can on blocks, to prevent them from getting damaged by water.  At this point there is no way to know when the water will stop creeping in.  “It's different because there's no rain or nothing, so it’s like a sneak up on you at night type of thing,” Chargois said.

The National Guard continued to drive through residential streets Thursday, helping anyone who needed to evacuate.

I-10 is still shut down in both directions near the Texas-Louisiana border. TX-DOT has not given an estimate of when the road will re-open. First floodwaters have to recede, then crews will determine whether or not they need to make any repairs to the road.

More than 9,000 people live in the evacuation zone in Orange County. Deweyville is also being heavily impacted by the widespread flooding.

Water in the area is so high, homes and buildings are almost submerged. In Orange County, there are nearly 2,400 flooded structures.

Local officials have warned the water may not recede for days, even weeks in some low-lying areas.
 
Road closures have caused a headache for truck drivers trying to navigate the messy and unfamiliar streets.

It is unknown when I-10 and the roads along the highway will reopen.

The county released a list of flooded areas and roads.

North Highway 62 area and Mauriceville area (Cow Bayou Watershed):

  • 9400 Skeeter Dr.
  • Hickory Bend

North Orange Area:

  • West Bluff from Elmira east to river - (Barricaded)
  • Armitage at FM 3247
  • Pea Farm
  • Pine Bluff Rd.
  • East Allie Payne
  • Holliman Circle (Barricaded)
  • Elmira Rd. from 3000 block (Killiam Rd.) to West Bluff
  • FM 1130 from FM 3247 North to Bear Path (Impassable)

City of Orange:

  • Simmons Dr. (Barricaded)
  • John at Simmons (Barricaded)
  • North St. and 3rd (Barricaded)
  • All streets in Navy Addition
  • 6th St. and Cordrey East to Simmons
  • Beverly and Eddie (Greenway 1)
  • 27th at Eddleman

Vidor Area:

  • South Lakeview at the sandbar
  • Sharon Lane
  • Connolly Rd.
  • 4 Oaks Ranch Rd., flooded from west up 500 block (Barricaded)
  • Lakeview, from the west up to 600 block (Barricaded at N. Fisherman)

Bridge City Area:

  • Bailey's Rd. at Lake St. (Barricaded)

Motorists who are taking one of the recommended I-20 routes are experiencing a nearly four-hour detour. US 59 is also a recommended route.

TxDOT issued the following release Monday:

Due to continued flooding from excessive rainfall along the Texas-Louisiana state line, the Texas Department of Transportation has closed Interstate 10 near the state line. All motorists who are driving eastbound to Louisiana should use I-20 as an alternate route. For those traveling on I-10 from:

• El Paso take I-20 East of Van Horn
• San Antonio take I-35 North to I-20 East to Shreveport
• Houston take US 59 North to I-20 East to Shreveport
• Beaumont take US 96 North to US 69 North to US 59 North to I-20 East to Shreveport

Motorists should follow these safety tips when driving in inclement weather:

  • Obey barricades and high-water signs.
  • Avoid using cruise control when visibility is low or road surfaces are wet.
  • Allow for extra driving time.
  • Reduce speeds when visibility is low.
  • Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles.
  • Avoid driving into standing or running water.

The department also advises drivers to visit www.DriveTexas.org for the latest road closures and alternate routes.

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