Convent, La. — St. James Parish President Pete Dufresne has declared a State of Emergency for St. James Parish as preparations begin for Tropical Storm Ida.
The National Hurricane Center has forecast the storm to strengthen to a major hurricane at landfall with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour possible. St. James Parish residents will begin to experience the impacts of this system as early as Sunday morning.
Officials anticipate downed trees and power lines as a result of Hurricane-force winds and the high probability of tornadoes. The parish can expect heavy rainfall and storm surge impacts including, a 3-5 feet storm surge potential in Lake Maurepas. Parish officials have staged equipment and personnel to provide debris clearing as soon as conditions allow following the storm. In addition, crews have begun canvassing all major drainage infrastructure ensuring waterways are clear of obstruction.
Pre-storm preparations have begun parish-wide including making sand and bags available at the locations listed below. Residents are asked to bring a shovel to fill bags and to help elderly or disabled neighbors.
East Bank Locations include the Grand Point Fire Station, Admirals Landing, Longview Street, and Ricky Lane. West Bank Locations include the South Vacherie Fire Training Center and the Kingview Fire Station.
The Parish emergency shelter at Lutcher High School will be open for residents beginning at 7 am Sunday, August 29. Residents are asked to bring with them a 3-5 day supply of food, water, medication, hygiene products, and bedding. Anyone in need of assistance with transportation to the shelter, please call the Citizen Service Center at 225-562-2500. The Shelter will operate in compliance with Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines.
The Parish Citizen Service Center will operate with extended hours throughout the duration of the weather event. Hours Friday, August 27 will be extended through 4:30 pm. On Saturday, August 28, the center will operate between 8 am – 4 pm. Sunday, August 29, the Citizen Service Center will operate for 24 hours.
Parish Government Offices will be closed, Monday, August 30 in anticipation of storm recovery. However, the Parish Emergency Operations Center will remain staffed throughout the weekend and Monday. Parish Government essential employees remain on call and ready to deploy as directed for storm response and recovery.
More information and the latest updates can be found on the home page of the parish website at www.stjamesla.com. Parish President Pete Dufresne will provide an update to residents via Facebook Live at 1:30 pm, Friday, August 27.