Precautions for Upcoming Storm
The National Weather Service is reporting an increased hurricane threat for the Acadiana region with hurricane-force winds by Saturday with tropical storm force winds starting on Friday. Rainfall totals are estimated to be 10 to 15 inches along and to the right of the storm’s path. This will likely result in significant flooding. There is also a chance of isolated tornadoes Friday and through the weekend.
Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) officials are meeting with state and local emergency personnel to plan for the storm as well as recovery efforts. “These Emergency Operations Center (EOC) meetings are in preparation for the storm and encompass all of the municipalities at our local level as well as emergency representatives from the State such as State Police and the Red Cross.” stated LCG Chief Administrative Officer Lowell Duhon after an EOC meeting. “We are working to plan for every aspect of the storm before, during and after it passes with procedures for flooding, evacuations, potential power outages, debris clean up etc. The meetings are twice a day until the storm passes with constant updates from the Lake Charles Weather Center as the storm develops.”
Public Works drainage crews are operating throughout the City and Parish, checking the drainage systems for any signs of potential blockages as well as responding and assessing calls from citizens. Public Works encourages citizens to assess and remove any debris, toys, garbage cans and lids, tree branches and twigs from their storm drains and ditches in an effort to participate in protecting their properties as well as utilize the sandbagging stations available in Lafayette Parish.
Lafayette Parish residents wishing to sandbag their property may access sandbags at one of two locations: North District sandbagging is at the compost facility, located at 400 N Dugas Road (located off North University Ave.) and South District sandbags will be available at 1017 Fortune Road in Youngsville. Sandbags will be available throughout the weekend in Lafayette Parish during daytime hours at the two separate locations with two temporary satellite locations to be announced soon.
The sites are "self-bagging," meaning the bags and sand are provided to Lafayette Parish residents free, at no charge, but residents will need to supply their own manpower and shovel. Residents are asked to limit their sandbags to four bags per exterior door, with a maximum of 20 sandbags per household.
Residents are advised to use caution when approaching standing, and especially moving, water, whether on foot or in a vehicle. Lafayette Mayor-President Joel Robideaux said, “The safety of citizens is our primary concern. I ask that everyone stay up to date on the storm’s progression and pay attention to surroundings during this time.”
Citizens are cautioned to heed signs or barricades, which indicate flooding ahead. If pedestrians or drivers find themselves upon a flooded area, they should turn around and take an alternate route. If motorists mistakenly drive into a flooded area and the vehicle stalls, they should immediately abandon it through an open door or window and head for higher ground.
More information will become available as the storm progresses. For the most up-to-date weather alerts, residents are advised to stay tuned to local media outlets.