First explored by Hernando de Soto in 1542, Northeast Louisiana (Region 3) is rich in history, culture and tradition. The region has a distinct character with its Native American earthworks, annual festivals, outdoor sporting, artisans and strong family ties. From its economic hub of Monroe, to the ports and agriculture along the Mississippi River, southward to the fisheries and proud heritage of Catahoula Parish, the land has provided for its people.
The drainage in Region 3 consist of many rivers, streams and bayous. This includes the Mississippi River on the eastern side of Region 3 and the Ouachita River on the western side of Region 3. Both rivers have infamous flood histories. As the flood waters subsided in the late Summer of 1927, Herbert Hoover rallied support for flood control measures. In one interview, he was asked if the people of the valley could feel safe when they go to sleep that the problem is solved. Mr. Hoover replied, "You can never go to sleep on anything in this world. Now is the time as never before to keep efficiently functioning the organization born of this flood disaster." These words ring true in 2019.
Accounts of our flood history date back to the middle 19th Century. In the Winter of 1893, the Daily Times, a New Jersey Newspaper reported, the people of Catahoula and Concordia Parishes were on the verge of starvation. The floods of the previous Summer had destroyed their crops and the water remained on the earth so long it was not possible to plant new crops. Hundreds left but many stayed.
Other memorable disasters in Region 3 include the Flood of 1874, Flood of 1882, Flood of 1894, Great Flood of 1927, Great Flood of 1932, Flood of 1945, Record Highwater of 1958, 1971 Mississippi Delta Tornado Outbreak, 1973 Flood, 1974 Flood, 1975 Flood, 1973 Ice Storm, Flood of 1975, Flood of 1978, Flood of 1983, Flood of 1991, Flood of 2006, Caldwell Parish Tornado 2004, Flood of 2009, the Great Flood of 2016, Ruston Tornado 2019 and Record Highwater of 2019. Region 3 knows adversity.
Our more recent disaster history has been defined by repeated record flooding on the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the Great Flood of 2016 and violent weather events like the April 2019 Ruston, La Tornado. A detailed account of our disaster history is chronicled within each Region 3 Parish hazard mitigation plans.