Update on Tropical Storm Lee: (September 4, Sunday afternoon)

Charlotte Guedry

(SUN AFTERNOON) Since Tropical Strom Lee has made landfall earlier today, it has been moving at around 3 miles an hour, bringing winds of up to 45 miles per hour.

A flood watch is still in effect.

Winds are steadily coming into Ascension Parish, and may reach 25-30 miles an hour, and more rain of up to 2 - 4 inches.

Things should begin to clear late tonight and into tomorrow morning.

(SUN MORNING) Tropical Storm Lee is slowly making it's way into the parish, and the storm's center is expected to hit the area sometime today.

A patch of dry air has surged from the west into the storm, which is allowing for sporadic sun as the system moves in.

Don't let the current drier weather allow you to think we're out of the storm's path, though, as Lee is coming in, and today and tomorrow could see heavy rains and winds in the area of up to 40 miles an hour.

(SAT NIGHT) There's been a delay in activity for a few hours, but don't let the lull fool you. The center of Tropical Storm Lee has begun its move into the state, and is bringing winds of up to 60 miles an hour.

It is thought that Lee will move slowly into the area, heading to the northwest through late Sunday. It is then projected the storm with head northeast.

The storm will gain strength through tonight, with heavy rains expected for up to 36 hours.

(SAT AFTERNOON) Late this morning, the parish and the National Weather Service, held a meeting with local fire department officials, the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, the Louisiana State Police, and local emergency responders in relation to Tropical Storm Lee and its impact on the area.

Throughout this evening and into tonight, winds will pick up. The thought is that they will reach 30-40 miles and hour, with gusts of up to 50 miles an hour.

With the winds will come more rain, and residents are urged to visit three sandbag stations throughout the parish if needed. The first is at Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Barns 5 and 6. The second is in Donaldsonville at the Old Pavillion behind the Lemann Center on Thibault Street. The third, expected to be open around 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m. this afternoon will be at Lake Martin in the triangle past Tureau's Grocery. Sand and bags will be available, but residents must bring their own shovels.

At the meeting earlier today, Parish President Tommy Martinez and Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux urged residents of the area to still remain cautious, as we are not through this storm yet. At present, six trees have been downed by winds and rain throughout the parish, and all have been removed.

Martinez also advises residents to stay off of the roads, even when the weather seems calmer. The winds and rain will be picking up again, with more force, so residents are asked to stay inside unless absolutely necessary.

Sorrento Mayor Wilson Longanecker Jr. and Councilman Kent Schexnaydre have said that the pumps in Sorrento are holding uup, but there are a few debris issues, which are to be expected. Longanecker urges people to remain careful, as we are not through the worst.

Donaldsonville Fire Chief Chuck Montero says that the Donaldsonville area is experiencing heavy rains, and they are staying alert.

Channel 21 will be showing a briefing for Tropical Storm Lee throughout the day, several times an hour.

Residents are also urged to contact the Community Information Line on 1-866-380-2303, which will be updated as information becomes available. You can also visit the Emergency Preparedness site by going to www.ascensionparish.net/ohsep. If you click in the left column under Sandbag Information, you will see a list generated for available locations.

Again, the wind is expected to intensify by tomorrow morning, so remain cautious. Presently 3.9 inches of rain has been reported in the parish since midnight, and the amount will rise.

Demco has reported 1600 residents of both Ascension and Livingston have been disrupted by the storm. Trucks from Mississippi and Texas are enroute to assist with the situation. If you are a Demco customer, and would like more information on the Ascension Parish area, visit www.demco.org.

We will keep you updated as more inforamtion comes available.

Stay safe and dry, Ascension!