Thursday, October 3, 2013 – 2:00 p.m.
ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH – St. John the Baptist Parish is under a Tropical Storm Watch as a tropical system develops in the Gulf of Mexico. Tropical Storm Karen is being closely monitored and preparations are being made for tropical storm conditions.
Although the system is disorganized, all models are being studied to determine the path of the storm. The National Hurricane Center is expecting Tropical Storm Karen to strengthen into a lower end Category 1 Hurricane; however, as a result of an approaching cold front, the storm could weaken back to a tropical storm before making landfall early Saturday morning.
Winds of 35 to 45 mph are expected and approximately 2 to 4 inches of rainfall with locally higher amounts could impact the area. The Tropical Storm Watch area, including St. John the Baptist Parish, could receive 2 to 4 feet of storm surge in Lake Pontchartrain. Water levels in the lake are are currently above normal and could continue to rise as wind speeds increase this weekend. Street flooding is expected at Ruddock on Hwy 51, Peavine and Frenier. As a result of high water levels in the lake, parish drainage systems will take longer than normal to drain.
St. John Parish Public Works is preparing pumps stations and parish drainage systems for heavy rainfall and preparing for possible power outages this weekend. The Utilities Department is also checking water and wastewater systems and making preparations for back-up systems should that be deemed necessary.
Residents are asked to make necessary preparations at home and secure all loose objects in anticipation of power outages, heavy rainfall, and possible street flooding this weekend. Residents with debris curbside are encouraged to bring vegetative debris to the Parish incinerator located on Airport Road in Reserve.
Please stay tuned to local weather stations for changes in the storm’s forecast and for information, please visit sjbparish.com, St. John Parish Government Access Channel (RTC, Comcast Ch 15 and AT&T U-Verse Ch 99), facebook.com/sjbparish, twitter: @SJBPgov, or call St. John the Baptist Parish at 985-652-9569. Please sign up to receive emergency alerts at sjbparish.com.