Updated Ascension Parish information following Hurricane Gustav
The following is information reported at 6 p.m. Thursday by parish government officials regarding current parish conditions following Hurricane Gustav's impact.
As of 9 a.m. Friday, both parish distribution centers - the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales and the Lemann Center in Donaldsonville, have been resupplied with MRE’s, tarps and limited Ice. There is no water available at the sites.
Parish President Tommy Martinez signed an executive order Friday banning the burning of storm debris any closer than 500 feet from an occupied dwelling. Martinez said he is signing the order because neighboring windows are open due to power outages and the invasion of smoke may possibly cause medical complications, such as asthma.
Martinez is requesting residents not to burn debris until power is restored to your area or to bring tree debris to the Ascension Civic Center on Airline Highway in Sorrento. Sheriff Jeff Wiley said deputies will vigorously enforce the order if the fires are closer than 500 feet.
Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez and the parish's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are asking residents to make sure they are aware of the dangers of downed power lines and are taking the necessary precaution.
Martinez asks that “everyone be very careful when cleaning and clearing debris, be sure there are no power lines in any area in which you are working. If you spot a line, stop and call your electric company immediately.”
More information regarding safety around downed lines in your yard or down lines you may encounter in your vehicle can be found online at www.entergy.com.
• DEMCO has 500 crew members working. The Galvez Sub-Station is up as of 10 a.m. Friday morning. Roads being worked are: Hwy. 931, LA 44 west, Henderson Bayou and Hwy. 431 to Stringer Bridge Road.
• The Prairieville/Manchac Plantation area's estimated restoration time is one to two days.
Areas Under Restoration or Restored
• Airline Hwy. east to Billy Blvd. has been restored. Crews are moving
toward the Port Vincent Area.
• Crews are on Weber City and Roddy Roads
• Geismar received power to their sub-station and crews are working
on Hwy. 73 and Hwy. 74.
• Prairieville Area – Airline Hwy and Hwy. 42 to Hwy. 929
• Gonzales, Duplessis & Oak Grove continues to be restored hourly.
• Pelican Point to Loosemoore Road
• Purpera Road to Highway 30.
• Sorrento to Main Street from Airline Hwy past City Hall
• Geismar – Dutchtown High Area – from I-10 down Hwy. 73 to Hwy. 74 intersection
• Crews are working in the direction from Port Vincent and meeting at Hwy. 44/Hwy. 42 interchange.
• Hwy. 42 North to Perkins Road
• Hwy. 621 East of Hwy. 44
• In the Bluff Road Area
• Donaldsonville has crew members out at this time and power is up at the sub-station. Restoration to resident’s homes is still dependent on utility pole repairs. They are working to get the main feed lines on for the hospital.
Parish public schools will be closed indefinitely. Other schools also closed until Monday include St. Theresa School in Gonzales, St. John School in Prairieville and Ascension Parish Interparochial Schools in Donaldsonville.
Because of the closure, all parish high school sporting events are postponed through Monday.
River Parishes Community College in Sorrento and Louisiana Technical College’s Ascension campus will also be closed until Monday.
Sheriff Jeff Wiley lifted Tuesday that the ordered curfew for Ascension Parish residents, but could reactivate it if conditions warrant.
Dutchtown High School remains the only open shelter in Ascension Parish as of Wednesday, At A total of 243 evacuees are currently registered with Red Cross at the Dutchtown High School shelter.
The Ascension Parish Health Unit in Gonzales has made arrangements with the
Department of Health and Hospitals for those residents needing Emergency WIC
Vouchers. Emergency Vouchers will only be issued to Ascension Parish residents:
• Who have scheduled appointments,
• Who missed their scheduled appointment due to Hurricane Gustav
• Who are Pregnant or who have children under the age of 5 years.
At this time, the Health Unit has scheduled hours for the distribution of these vouchers only from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday. Additional hours will be determined and communicated as needed.
The Ascension Health Unit is located at 1024 Ascension Complex Blvd, Gonzales. For directions, identification requirements or clarifications, please call 644-4582.
Prevost Memorial Hospital in Donaldsonville remains without power and are working on generators. Its emergency Room is open around the clock. The complex remain without air conditioning at this time.
Promise Hospital of Ascension currently has 25 patients; some critical patients were transferred to other hospitals. They remain on generator power and are without air conditioning. Resources are in route to assist with air conditioning.
St. Elizabeth Hospital’s power was restored at approximately 10 a.m. The hospital is still working to bring some systems online but are at this time handling emergency’s as they come and should be back to normal operations by Monday.
The Department of Social Services and Family Support Office in Ascension Parish remains closed at this time due to power outages. Department officials are working to restore services as soon as possible and will let residents know an opening date and time as soon as it is available.
Relief supplies were distributed at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales beginning at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday. The center, located on St. Landry Road, will serve as the relief supply destination for the parish's east bank, while westbank residents can pick up supplies at the Lemann Center, located at the intersection of Clay Street and Thibaut Drive in Donaldsonville. Both sites were prepared to distribute MRE (meals ready to eat), ice and water on a drive-through basis and only to those who can prove residency in Ascension Parish.
Just before 7 p.m. Wednesday, officials at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center said that they had ran out of ice and water, leaving a limited supply of MRE's and blue tarps.
Officials said that both centers were awaiting more supplies.
The East Ascension Drainage District reports as of 8:30 am Thursday morning that the drainage pumps are maintaining a minus-1 foot level and there is a crew conducting waterway evaluations. Crews are being dispatched and working on problem waterways.
As of 8:30 a.m., the public works department reported 90 percent of roads in the parish are cleared and power companies are working the remaining roadways closed due to power line problems. DPW crews are working to clear culverts and ditches of debris. There are some roadways closed due to flooding. These remain in the northeast of Ascension Parish, near the Amite River and Diversion Canal.
The following roads are closed due to flooding at this time:
• (Diversion Canal Area) Amite River Road North of the Diversion Canal
• (Summerfield Area) Summerfield South off of Hwy. 431 and Airport Road
• (Off Hwy 42) Idle Hour Road
• The Lake Martin Area water has receded.
In Donaldsonville Area, the Ascension Department of Public Works reported that as of 1:30 pm today, all roads are open and no street flooding is occurring.
Martinez declared a State of Emergency Thursday due to the high water levels on the Amite River and the Diversion Canal "due to the potential to cause extensive damage in Ascension Parish and to minimize the threat to life and property of the citizens of the parish."
The state's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is currently patrolling the following waterways:
Amite River at Bayou Manchac – MAJOR FLOODING EXPECTED
Flood stage 9 feet
Last Reading 12.6 feet est.
Expected Crest: 15.5 feet Saturday Morning
Amite River at French Settlement – MINOR FLOODING EXPECTED
Flood stage 4 feet
Last Reading 4.4 feet
Expected Crest: 5.5 feet Saturday Evening, May fluctuate,
Amite River at Port Vincent – MODERATE FLOODING EXPECTED
Flood stage 8 feet
Last Reading 8.1 feet
Expected Crest: 11 feet Saturday Evening
Power outages are causing problems with sewer lift stations in the parish. Most of the sewage systems in the parish are privately owned, these are being pumped down as fast as possible. These systems are privately owned and maintained and are permitted and regulated by the State Department of Health and Hospitals. Residents should reduce water consumption and waste until electricity is restored to their subdivision.
Debris removal services are expected to begin next week. Contracts are being put in place at this time. Residents may bring tree debris only to the Ascension Civic Center on Airline Highway in Sorrento from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Residents stacking debris for removal should keep all drainage
Parish President Tommy Martinez is asking parish residents not to burn debris until power is restored in their respective areas. Martinez said that burning debris while neighbors’ windows are open could lead to breathing issue for those with asthma or other conditions.
The parish’s mosquito abatement department is currently spraying seven days a week throughout the parish’s rural areas. Department Manager David Matassa reminded residents to empty standing water from containers, planters, pools and other areas holding water to prevent breeding of mosquitoes.
23rd Judicial District
The 23rd Judicial District Court announced today that all court proceedings are suspended for the remainder of the week and will resume Monday.The district covers Ascension, Assumption and St. James parishes