St. Charles Herald-Guide

St. Charles Parish declares state of emergency

From staff and wire reports - October 4, 2013

St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre Jr. has declared a state of emergency as the Emergency Operations Center continues to monitor and respond to Tropical Storm Karen as she nears the coast.

Based on the forecast, there are currently no plans to open an emergency shelter within St. Charles Parish.

"Even though we expect Karen's effects to leave our area by Sunday morning, we want our residents to remain vigilant, monitor the forecast and be safe," St. Pierre said. "This includes not only preparing your properties, but also preparing your families by having a stocked disaster kit in the event of possible long term power outages."

Parish officials continue to urge residents to shore up their own emergency plans and disaster supply kits today should they become necessary. This includes enough nonperishable food and water for each family member for three days, in addition to items such as batteries and flashlights.

Residents should also prepare their homes for windy conditions and heavy rain, including picking up and/or securing items that could be blown around and clearing culverts and drains on their properties to ensure proper drainage. Residents are encouraged to limit outdoor and driving activities on Saturday as winds of up to 35 mph set in.

In the event of street flooding, residents are reminded that it is illegal to drive around closure barricades and create vehicle wakes.All parish pump stations and generators are operable and fueled, and canals have been pumped down.

The parish remains under a tropical storm watch. The current forecast has Karen drifting to the north northwest before interacting with a cold front and then turning eastward with an eventual landfall in Plaquemines Parish.

There is a potential for tropical storm force winds in the parish. Maximum winds of 25 to 35 mph could cause possible widespread power outages. There will be periods of intermittent potentially heavy rain with totals in the 2 to 4 inch range throughout the event.

Tides are expected to rise 3 to 5 feet above normal on the East Bank and between 1 and 3 feet or less on the West Bank. The EOC is in continuous contact with the National Weather Service, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and other response partners and will be throughout the event.