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Gonzales Mayor Barney Arceneaux declares state of emergency

Staff Report

Mayor Barney Arceneaux declared a state of emergency Saturday, Aug. 22, due to the dual hurricanes threatening Louisiana.  The declaration is sitting on the mayor's desk and will be filed with the Clerk of Court's office Monday morning.

Mayor Barney Arceneaux declared a state of emergency Saturday, Aug. 22, due to the dual hurricanes threatening Louisiana.

As of now, it appears that the impact on the Gonzales area for Marco is expected to be manageable, with wind speeds of less than 20 mph. The City of Gonzales plans to maintain normal operating hours Monday and Tuesday, including holding its regularly scheduled city council meeting Monday night at 5:30 p.m. Officials plan to keep an eye on conditions. If conditions do deteriorate, plans may change.

“We never take anything for granted with storms of any kind,” Arceneaux said. “We encourage residents to take all normal precautions during a hurricane or tropical storm.”

Arceneaux encouraged residents to review the preparedness guidelines published by the Ascension Office of Emergency Preparedness here:  http://www.ascensionparish.net/departments/homeland-security/. Please secure all belonging subject to being moved by wind or water.

“What will happen Wednesday depends on Laura,” Arceneaux said. “We do not know what its track is with high confidence, yet. We are watching is closely. We are taking all precautions in advance of Marco. We will maintain our emergency response readiness throughout the week.”  

Sunday, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., the City distributed prefilled sandbags to City residents who came to pick them up at the City maintenance facility located at 2919 S. Darla Ave. A driver's license with a City of Gonzales address is required to pick up sandbags at this location.  Additionally, the City began delivering sandbags to the elderly or disabled. Residents meeting that criteria may call City Hall at (225) 647-2841 and request a delivery of up to 20 sandbags.  Distribution will continue Monday and Tuesday, as long as conditions allow.

Mayor Arceneaux has placed all City personnel on 24 hour standby.

“We expect to start Monday normally,” he said. “Police and fire are prepared to double the number of personnel on duty, if  required. High water vehicles are ready for action.”

The Louisiana National Guard is meeting with Mayor Arceneaux in the morning. All generators have been topped off. Additional efforts have been taken to ensure drainage has been cleared to help manage stormwater runoff. Barricades are ready to limit access to flooded streets, if that should happen. All parks and recreation facilities are closed. All loose materials and anything possibly blown by the wind have been secured.