Oberlin couple preparing for flood waters - FOX29 Lake Charles

Oberlin couple preparing for flood waters

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(Source: Theresa Schmidt / KPLC) (Source: Theresa Schmidt / KPLC)
OBERLIN, LA (KPLC) -

Flood waters continue to move southward toward Oberlin where the river is rising.

Residents are keeping a watchful eye. At the Calcasieu River Bridge on La. 26, it's plain that the river is rising.

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So far it's mostly residents who live right on the river who have something to worry about.  For the last couple of days, Tracy Chapman and her fiance, Jason Williamson, have been moving four-wheelers and other items in the yard off the ground.  They've also been moving furniture and other belongings to safe places.

"Anything over 14 (feet), then we know we gotta start putting things up and out the way because you're not going to drive in after 14," Tracy said.

They're taking a boat between home and their vehicle and may have to do so for a couple of weeks until the water recedes. They have had water around their home many times and know the drill - yet they are concerned about predictions that the river may crest at 24 or 25 feet, which could put water in their home.

But they fear this time, the river may crest higher than they've ever experienced. If the river does reach between 24 and 25 feet, there's concern that some residents in Oberlin may see water at or inside their homes.  

"We're just really worried about it - 24 is iffy to get in our home. Because the highest we got since we've been here was 22.87 feet which we have marked on our stairs," Tracy said.

"I've heard at 25 feet, it starts hitting the ditches and heading toward town - and it happened back in the '80s - I believe is what my stepdad told 'em," Jason said.

 In nine years the couple has never felt the need to leave their home and don't expect to this time.  

"We just put everything up there. And I want an elevator because I'm tired of climbing stairs," Jason said. "We'll have to put all our furniture inside and pull up the rugs, put everything on these cinder blocks that we normally use as a fence," Jason said.

"And hope it doesn't go higher than that because a possibility is it might - even more - or float our home," Tracy said.

Still, just west of their riverfront homes, the Calcasieu River continues its rise with the current swifter than usual, moving debris quickly along downstream. 

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