The Harrison County Emergency Management team will have dumpsters sprawled out around Caddo Lake starting Sunday to assist residents with cleanup efforts from the recent floods.
“We are finally seeing the level drop on Caddo,” Harrison County Judge Chad Sims announced at Friday’s commissioners court meeting.
“It’s down almost a foot since yesterday but still three-feet above flood level,” he said.
The county judge said he, along with Pct. 1 County Commissioner William Hatfield, who represents the area, have been working with county fire marshal Thomas Mock, county engineer John Paul Jones with the road and bridge department and Lt. Jay Webb with the sheriff’s office on cleanup efforts.
“Our plan is to locate several dumpsters on an oilfield site at the intersection of Mound Pound Road and Cypress Drive,” said Sims. “This site will be accessible for the local residents to bring debris from the clean up.”
Sims said residents can also put their debris on the roadside to be picked up by inmate labor provided by the sheriff’s office.
“Sheriff McCool has made available some inmate labor to collect that and deliver it to the dumpsters as well,” he said.
Depending on the forecast for the weekend, dumpsters will be open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., starting Sunday.
“The Red Cross will also be setting up an emergency office at the TJ Taylor Community Center in Karnack,” Sims said, noting Red Cross will supply water, MREs and cleaning supplies to those in need.
The news of the availability of the dumpsters is music to the ears of residents such as Ted Dickson, who owns a rental property on Cypress Drive.
“How wonderful,” Dickson exclaimed Friday upon hearing the news.
“That’s great,” he said, sharing how he was in need of a place to dispose of his soaked mattresses and other ruins.
“Everything’s gone on the first floor,” shared Dickson. “I have a pump that will pump water out between the house and the wall, but there’s no power so it just filled up with water and flooded it out there.
“I just can’t wait for the water to recede so I can jerk everything out there to get rid of it,” he said.
Dickson said he lives in Jefferson, but has traveled to the lake to check on his property since the flooding. He’s been concerned about his fellow neighbors at Caddo Lake, especially since his particular area has been without electricity since the last heavy rains knocked down the utility lines, shutting down the power.
“Everybody out there has no power,” said Dickson.
“I’m just concerned about the people that are living down there,” he said. “That’s my concern. Some of them are parking their cars at Lighthouse. They’ve got their boats all the way to the road. I think they’re traveling back and forth by boats right now. And quite a few cars are parked on top of the bridge right now.”
Dickson said flooding is expected when you live on the lake, but it’s just aggravating to know that it’s happening more than usual.
“Being from Jefferson, I understand why Lake o’ the Pines was built because of the massive flood in (the ‘40s), so they built a reservoir at Lake of the Pines to keep that from happening.”
“Caddo Lake gets hit with so many tributaries that come into there. Caddo Lake doesn’t have a dam. It’s just a runoff. It’s not a controlled dam. So it’s like a cup of coffee when the coffee gets full and it starts pouring over the edge,” said Dickson. “So I’d like to get some answers from the Corps of Engineers if they’ve got any possible future solutions for something that seems to be happening more often.”
Sims said he’ll continue to post updates on actions on the Harrison County Judge Facebook page. He said
Although the county hasn’t declared an emergency due to dollar thresholds that constitute an emergency, according to state and federal guidelines, the judge explained, the county is still treating this like an emergency and doing whatever it takes to help impacted residents.
“If you have any questions you may contact fire marshal Thomas Mock, who is our Emergency Management Coordinator at 903-935-4870,” said Sims.