Families prepare to boat their way out of flooding

Rising river water is making travel difficult up and down the Mississippi River.

But one rural Pike County family says it may be boating to school and work if the river rises too high this year.

When county road 248 floods near Louisiana, 30 people are stranded on the other side. Now some families say its time their road maintenance crews do something about it.

When the river rises like this Heather Stoop gets her boat ready.

Stoop said, "This year I was afraid I would have to boat my husband across to his car. It's a lot of boating...a lot of gas."

Here's the problem in a nutshell, when the river at Louisiana rises to 23 feet, it backs up into nearby Buffalo creek. When that happens it floods a small section of road, but it traps folks on the other side, with no way to get out besides to boat.

Right now the fields are wet, but not flooded. But Stoop says since the new bridge was put in, this dead end road has been leaving folks high and dry like this a dozen times since she moved in more than a decade ago. One such span lasted four weeks. But to's not just an inconvenience, it's a life safety issue.

"What's your greatest fear?

Stoop said, "That something would happen and they can't get to us. There's close to 30 people here, ten families and its scary."

Her nightmare came true for Stoop back in 2008.

Stoop said, "I had to put my son in a boat and take him to a hospital..."

Stoop and her neighbors want road commissioners to install culverts and raise the road a bit to allow water to alleviate the problem.

"They tell me you chose to live where you live, but I chose to live on a well maintained county road...but its not maintained...not maintained at all. Just give us a way out or a way for an ambulance to get to us in case of an emergency."

But until something is done Stoop and her neighbors will prepare in case their little makeshift ferry operation is needed again. After all, she says it's not if it's when the river rises again.

We left multiple messages with the 8 Mile Special Roads District Three office in Louisiana which maintains the roads. We also left messages with a commissioner Bucky Ward.

None of those calls were returned.

We'll have more when those calls are returned.

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