Parish under weather advisory

Staff reports

Ascension Parish officials prepared Friday for the possibility of wintry weather as the parish was placed under a weather advisory.

Friday morning, the National Weather Service office in New Orleans issued a winter weather advisory for portions of southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Saturday. The advisory includes Ascension Parish and specifically mentions the cities of Gonzales and Donaldsonville.

Major concerns associated with this winter weather will be dangerous icing conditions on bridges and overpasses, particularly the Sunshine Bridge near Donaldsonville. Some bridge or road closures are possible Friday night.

According to Parish President Tommy Martinez, the Ascension Parish Department of Public Works is prepared to distribute sand on parish roadways should the need arise. DPW will coordinate with the state DOTD office to distribute sand on state highways. Local municipalities within Ascension Parish will be responsible for side streets.

"We want to urge our citizens to use caution and common sense," Martinez said. "Hopefully this weather will pass through quickly."

A strong gulf low combined with cold air in place over the region is expected to allow for the development of a mix of rain and snow early this evening before turning completely to snow. Snow accumulations of up to one inch are expected, but the heaviest snow is predicted to fall north of the I-10/I-12 corridor.

Temperatures are expected to warm to about 50 during the day Saturday.

State offices in several parishes closed early Friday. Offices in Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron and Jefferson Davis parishes closed at 2 p.m. Acadia, Evangeline, Lafayette, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary and Vermilion parishes closed state offices at 3 p.m.

Workers who commute to those parishes were allowed to leave at 1 p.m.