Winter weather takes AP by storm
Winter weather led to an emergency declaration from Governor John Bel Edwards Wednesday morning. The governor tweeted that the department of transportation distributed more than 1.5 million pounds of salt in the state to combat icy conditions. Twelve hundred employees with the department are working around the clock to reopen roadways.
Below freezing temperatures and winter precipitation led to the closure of many roads in the parish. Ice accumulation caused hazardous conditions on major highways, according to the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD). Interstate 10 is closed in both directions from I-49 in Lafayette to Slidell. Major accidents have been reported on Airline Highway in Ascension Parish, according to the Waze app.
Many highways are passable but still icy, and drivers are advised to use extreme caution if they must be on the road. If you have to drive in icy conditions, do not use cruise control and allow more time for stopping. Be mindful of the ice, and drive slow. For more tips and a complete list of road closures visit 511la.org.
Wind chill advisories are in effect throughout the parish until 1 p.m. Very cold wind chills are expected, ranging from 5 to 14 degrees above zero. The National Weather Service advises people to wear hats and gloves and take precautions against frost bite and hypothermia.
Hard freeze warnings have also been issued for the parish and remain in effect until at least noon and then tonight into Thursday morning. These sub-freezing temperatures can kill crops and cause pipes to burst. It’s important for residents to protect all the P’s- pipes, pets, plants, and people.
Ascension Parish Schools were closed Wednesday, as well as all after school activities. The school board meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening also had to be cancelled after schools dismissed early that day because of winter weather. The decision to cancel class was made after consulting with emergency officials, according to the Ascension Parish School Board. To stay up to date on school closures, check apsb.org, where official decisions are posted.
River Parishes Community College is closed, as well as Baton Rouge Community College and LSU. All state offices are closed through Wednesday. The Ascension Parish Court, parish government offices, state offices, and the Clerk of Court are also closed.
In Sorrento, the Town Hall office is closed due to freezing conditions. Area landfills are also closed, and garbage pickup for Wednesday will take place on Saturday. Regular routes for Thursday are expected to run. The Public Works Department will remain open.
Donaldsonville residents lost power due to below freezing temperatures. Entergy customers along Highway 3089, Peytavin and Thibaut Drive were without electricity for hours. The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office reported a damaged cross arm was found on the line affecting those areas. A Facebook post from APSO indicated crews were working to isolate the customers on that line.
Areas of the Pelican Point Subdivision experienced low gas pressure Wednesday morning, according to the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security. Technicians were reportedly in route to assess the situation.
Air travelers were impacted when the Baton Rouge Metro Airport announced adverse weather conditions shut down runways. Customers should check with their airline about the status of their flight, as many early morning flights were cancelled or delayed.
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