Jefferson Parish Public Schools
November 9, 2009 by USA Post
NEW ORLEANS –
A weakened Hurricane Ida moved through the Gulf of Mexico early Monday, forecast to skirt the mouth of the Mississippi River before making landfall in Florida on Tuesday.
A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning is in effect from Grand Isle, La., to Pascagoula, Miss., as the Category 1 storm headed toward the Gulf Coast. The storm was downgraded overnight, with maximum sustained winds now at 80 mph.
Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency for Louisiana on Sunday as a precaution before Ida’s arrival. And the threat of coastal flooding, wind and rain led to the closure of dozens of area schools and the voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas.
A voluntary evacuation is in effect for St. Bernard Parish starting at 6 a.m. for areas outside levee protection. In Jefferson Parish, the town of Grand Isle is under a voluntary evacuation for people living in campers, trailers and recreational vehicles.
And in Plaquemines Parish, a voluntary evacuation is in place at 8 a.m. for areas from Conoco Phillips to Venice on the west bank, and from White Ditch to Bohemia on the east bank. Anyone with questions should call 504-297-5600.
A shelter was set up at the Belle Chasse Auditorium for people in Plaquemines Parish. Anyone needing transportation assistance to the auditorium may call 504-274-2470.
As of 6 a.m., the center of Hurricane Ida was located about 235 miles south-southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River and about 330 miles south-southwest of Pensacola, Fla.
Ida was moving toward the north-northwest near 16 mph, and a turn toward the north and an increase in forward speed were expected in the next 24 hours. The storm is then expected to turn toward the northeast on Tuesday. This forecast track puts Ida approaching the northern Gulf Coast late Monday night or early Tuesday.
Ida weakened from a Category 2 to a Category 1 storm early Monday morning after encountering wind shear and lower temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico. Maximum sustained winds were at 80 mph as of 6 a.m., and additional weakening is expected, but forecasters warn Ida could still be a hurricane when it makes landfall.
NOHSEP Monitoring Hurricane Ida
The city of New Orleans Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness has been closely monitoring the progress of Hurricane Ida, as well as the other atmospheric factors that will contribute to the path of the storm.
Since the storm’s development, city officials have been engaged in conference call meetings with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, as well as the National Weather Service, to discuss the potential weather threats. Conference call meetings have been scheduled throughout the weekend and next week.
Based on the current storm predictions, NOHSEP is not anticipating any requirement for evacuation in response to this weather event.
However, citizens are encouraged to:
# Prepare homes for a possible wind event
# Check trees and shrubbery, and remove any limbs that could damage your home
# Secure any items in your yard that might tear loose or blow away, including garbage cans, grills, potted plants, garden tools, toys, signs, porch furniture, awnings, etc.
# Return small watercraft to port and/or seek safe harbor
NOHSEP’s Crisis Action Team will continue to monitor this weather threat as the day progresses.
NOHSEP recommends that citizens stay informed about the threat by listening to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, and television for the latest watches and warnings. Citizens may also register for weather alerts through the city’s alert system at www.nolaready.info.
St. Charles Parish Urges Preparedness
St. Charles Parish residents are being urged to prepare their homes for wind gusts of up to 50 mph in advance of inclement weather from Hurricane Ida expected in the area by Monday afternoon.
Parish officials said that includes picking up any debris and securing unsecured objects in yards and neighborhoods, including outdoor furniture or equipment that could be thrown by high winds. Residents are also asked to keep all drainage basins and ditches clear of debris.
The current forecast has Ida moving north for the next 72 hours from its current position between the Yucatan Peninsula and Cuba in the southern Caribbean. Hurricane Ida is expected to pass within 120 miles of St. Charles Parish.
The St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center has been activated, and parish officials are meeting today to discuss any further protective actions.
Residents should also prepare for the possibility of tornado warnings and power outages over the next few days.
Any questions may be directed to the St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Center at 985-783-5000 24 hours a day.
Parish officials asked that residents stay tuned to local media, stcharlesparish-la.gov, 888-SCP-9EOC or 1370 AM in St. Charles Parish for further announcements.
Officials also announced that the Bonnet Carre Spillway Road is closed as of Sunday at 10 a.m. due to high water.
Plaquemines Parish Takes Precautions
In anticipation of the onset of hurricane force winds from Hurricane Ida, Plaquemines Parish issued a voluntary evacuation for the following areas: Conoco Phillips to Venice on the West Bank and White Ditch to Bohemia on the East Bank.
The Belle Chasse Auditorium at 8398 Highway 23 will be open Monday at 8 a.m. to receive evacuees. If residents need transportation assistance to the BC Auditorium, call 504-274-2470.
Storm surge is expected to reach 5 to 7 feet on both lower East Bank and West Bank areas. Wind speed gusts may reach up to 75 mph. For more information, call 504-297-5600. Parish officials also urged residents to register for e-mail updates at www.plaqueminesparish.com.
Voluntary Evacuations Called In St. Bernard Parish
St. Bernard Parish President Craig P. Taffaro Jr. has called for a voluntary evacuation of areas of St. Bernard Parish that are located outside of the Hurricane Protection Levee System.
The start of the voluntary evacuation will be followed by an immediate increase of patrols by the St. Bernard Parish Sheriff’s Office within the evacuation area. All boat and trailer owners are asked to secure their property.
All St. Bernard Parish government employees are expected to report for their regular work schedule on Monday.
Taffaro has also called for all St. Bernard residents to follow their personal hurricane preparedness plan. He has stated that he expects no flooding within the Hurricane Protection Levee System, but he added that residents should be prepared for potential wind-related damage, which could include power outages. Residents should secure all loose personal property around their homes.
St. Bernard Parish Government will be issuing updates on its Web site at www.sbpg.net, on its cable access station at channel 76 for Cox Communications customers and on its emergency communications radio station at 1680-AM.
Terrebonne Schools Open; Sandbags Available
Officials in Terrebonne Parish said schools will be open there on Monday.
Due to the possibility of flooding in the low-lying areas of the parish, sand and sand bags will be available at the following locations in Terrebonne Parish: Montegut Fire Station, main Little Caillou Fire Station, Pointe Aux Chenes Fire Station, Bobtown Bridge Fire Station, and the former location of the fire station in Bayou Dularge near the Falgout Canal Bridge.
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