Friday, August 31, 2012 - 9:35 A.M.
EVACUATIONS: Total 3647 evacuations, 747 evacuated in the last 24 hours.
The National Guard, Wildlife and Fisheries, Acadian Ambulance, St. John Sheriff’s Office, and Fire Departments are continuing search and rescue as needed and by request throughout the day as water levels remain elevated.
EVACUATION PHONE LINE: After evacuating over 3647 residents in St. John the Baptist Parish, a database of individuals evacuated to Alexandria and Shreveport has been obtained, and families and friends can attempt to locate their loved ones by calling 985-652-0542. Evacuations to the state shelter in Shreveport are ongoing. A large number of residents did not evacuate to state shelters, choosing instead to stay with family and friends.
PETS: Approximately 180 pets have been evacuated with families. ASPCA and Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSRT) are working with St. John Parish Animal Shelter to rescue animals throughout the parish as soon as access is provided. The St. John Animal Shelter is currently not open to receive pets.
WATER SUPPLY: The St. John the Baptist Parish Utilities Department will begin working to restore water to LaPlace residents this morning. The National Guard is assisting with the repair and transporting people and equipment through the high water.
POWER: Entergy is working to restore power to businesses along Airline Hwy including medical facilities. Approximately 18,174 customers remain without power. Entergy is working to restore power as quickly as possible while avoiding flood ravaged areas. 60 crews are currently on hand and an additional 100 are coming.
HOSPITAL: River Parishes Hospital is currently closed. It is expected to be fully functional and open on Saturday, September 1 at 7:00 am.
CURFEW: St. John the Baptist Parish remains under a curfew between 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Sheriff Michael Tregre has requested additional security personnel to help with patrols of the parish during the power outage. Checkpoints have been established at the St. James and St. Charles Parish lines to enforce the curfew. He said “Residents on roads past 6:00 p.m. will be challenged by his officers”.
GARBAGE: Progressive Waste is currently assessing areas of their daily routes and will begin collecting garbage in areas without high water.
MAJOR ROAD CLOSURES: I-10 on/off ramps, I-55 on/off ramps (Southbound lanes open, Northbound lanes from St. John closed), Hwy 51 is closed, Belle Terre Blvd at Fairway Dr. to I-10, I -310 on/off ramps are closed.
CLOSURES: All schools and parish offices will be closed through Monday, September 3, 2012.
POD Sites: Six locations have been established in St. John the Baptist Parish for distribution of MRE’s and water. The locations are:
East St. John Elementary
400 Ory Drive
LaPlace, LA 70068
Fifth Ward Elementary
158 Panther Drive
Reserve, LA 70084
Garyville/Mt. Airy Math and Science Magnet
240 LA Hwy 54
Mount Airy, LA 70076
Leon Godchaux School
1880 Hwy 44
Reserve, LA 70084
St. John the Baptist Courthouse
2393 Hwy 18
Edgard, LA 70049
PATIENCE - Residents are asked to remain patient as we work to restore services to all homes. The last two days were spent completing search and rescue missions to remove residents from flood waters, attics and homes without power and water.
Many of our employees have been working 24/7 for the last several days while their homes were inundated with water. We’re asking residents to follow the curfew as 95% of the parish is without power, no working signal lights or street lights, and water levels that may not be visible at night. They are also asked to move through high water slowly as not to create wakes that cause additional flooding.
INFORMATION SOURCES: WWL 870 AM or 105.3 FM, ONLINE: www.sjbparish.com, Facebook: St John Parish Government; Twitter: @SJBPgov