Cassidy says the federal agency’s prediction of a 34-foot crest resulted in an unpleasant surprise when the eventual crest came in at 37 feet.
“The chance to prepare with sandbags and etcetera was missed because people were confident with the forecasted crest and the crest turned out to be much higher,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy says he’ll also look into whether the Army Corps of Engineers could have done anything differently as the water flowed down the Red River from Oklahoma.
“They should be managing the entire river as a system, so whatever is done in one place, the impact in another place is understood,” Cassidy said.
Cassidy says he’ll also push for federal assistance once the request for help is formally made the state level. He says after viewing the flooded areas, it appears a lot of people will need some financial help.
“Particularly those lower income people who may not be aware of what options are available,” Cassidy said.
It will be weeks, perhaps months, before it’s known how much damage the recent flooding from the Red River has done to Louisiana’s agriculture industry.
Many farmers and ranchers are said to be facing ‘total loss’ from the flooding.
James Wagley, Natchitoches Parish president for Louisiana Farm Bureau Federation, says thousands and thousands of acres are underwater in his parish.
Commissioner of Agriculture Mike Strain says the wheat crop will have a substantial loss. He says the flooding is deep on the corn, beans and some rice fields.
Even after the water recedes, Strain says the effects will continue to be felt. He says rehabilitating the land to support crops and grass again is a process that’s going to take time.