September 3, 2011 8:46:33 PM CDT
Tropical Storm Lee continues to hover over the gulf creating rain bands along the coast and much of Southeast Louisiana. Although the storm has weakened, the National Weather Service has warned Parish Officials not to drop their guard as more bad weather is expected over the next 36-48 hours. “St. John is weathering the storm well, despite significant rain fall over the last two days. Very few reports of damage to homes have been reported and me and my staff remain on high alert and ready to respond as needed,” stated Parish President Natalie Robottom.
St. John Parish remains under tropical storm warnings and a flash flood watch. As the storm’s path remains uncertain, significant weather changes can occur quickly. Maximum winds are forecasted for the 35 to 45 mph range with gusts to 65 mph and a tornado watch remains in effect until 10:00 pm tonight. Until the storm moves out of the area, residents should expect high winds, power outages, and heavy rain. Intermittent power outages have occurred throughout the day, with Entergy reporting approximately 300 outstanding at 5:00 pm. These are expected to be restored by tonight.
Tropical Storm Lee is not expected to move completely out of the area for another 48-72 hours, so caution is still recommended. “Although much of the flooding experienced earlier in the day has receded, tidal flooding from Lake Pontchartrain is not likely to recede until the wind direction changes to West/Northwest,” said Acting Director of Public Safety Kathy Gilmore.
Public Works and Utility crews worked throughout the night Friday and throughout the day Saturday addressing waste water and flooding issues resulting from Tropical Storm Lee. Peavine Rd., Frenier Rd., Hwy 51 between Manchac and LaPlace, and North and Southbound ramps at Manchac and Ruddock on I-55 remain closed due to high water. Other roads experiencing flooding and intermittent closures include Homewood Dr., Persimmon St., Redbud, Captain Bourgeois, Pine St., Magnolia and Gardenia in the back of LaPlace Park, Foxwood Ln., Tiffany, Belle Grove, Jouty Lane, and Shadowbrook Ln. The roads will continue to be monitored and closed as needed, and parish employees will monitor pump functioning throughout the night. St. John Parish reported handing out 610 sandbags throughout the day at the Reserve Airport location and will continue to make them available beginning at 7:00 am.
Residents are also asked to call 911 to report flooded areas, downed power lines, trees or any other problems. They should stay tuned to the new centralized Emergency Alert System at www.sjbparish.com, the Government Access Channel 15, and local news and weather stations.