City warns drivers of flooding at Gay Avenue bridge

The most recent observation puts the Sabine River level at 35.95 feet, and it’s forecasted to crest as early as 7 a.m. Sunday – a portion of Gay Avenue’s already under water, and city officials want locals to be on alert.
For Gladewater City Manager Charlie Smith, the National Weather Service’s mantra of “Turn around, don’t drown” is sage advice in such circumstances.
“I’ve seen cars float before,” the veteran police officer and city administrator said. “That’s the danger part.”
Smith made an effort Friday to spread the word about the floodwaters before they become even more of an issue.
“The Sabine is expected to crest sometime Sunday,” he said, hitting an anticipated 38.2 feet early on June 9, per the National Water Prediction Service of the National Ocean & Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. “Due to that, the water on Gay Avenue will continue to rise,” particularly at the bridge east of Gladewater High School.
“It’s not going to go down overnight. It’s going to continue to rise.”
The NOAA advises locals to expect moderate to severe flooding in places and “preparations should be completed for a major flood.” From the NOAA gauge, the ‘Action’ level for the river is 25 feet. At 26 feet, it’s at a ‘Minor’ flood stage then ‘Moderate’ at 33 feet. The level was poised to cross the ‘Major’ limit of 36 feet early Friday afternoon.
According to the available forecast information, the level will still be above the Major limit at midday Wednesday, June 12, and there’s more rain in the forecast Monday through midweek.
NOAA lists the Sabine’s River record level in Gladewater at 44.2 feet.
With the level rising and more rain ahead, it’s a concern, Smith said.
Inevitably, “People are going to drive through it, I’m sure,” he allowed, but Smith hopes to ward off as many drivers as possible. “Turn around, don’t drown.”
Find the latest data on the Sabine from the NOAA website via
Per NOAA, key flood impacts include:
• U.S. Highway 80 will be flooded and closed. Several thousand acres of land will remain flooded for several days.
• The approaches to U.S. Highway 271 floods at the Sabine River bridge. Expect major flooding to continue for several more days.
• Expect moderate to severe flooding with some secondary roadways near the river to be closed. Also homes will be threatened with flooding and preparations should be completed for a major flood.


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