ASCENSION PARISH LIVE UPDATES: Hurricane Ida

Staff Report
Hurricane Ida churns in the Gulf of Mexico Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021.

Here are live updates concerning Hurricane Ida for Ascension Parish: 

  • Shortly after 8:30 p.m. Aug. 29, Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office deputies received reports of a citizen possibly injured from a fallen tree at a residence off of Highway 621 in Prairieville. Deputies arrived on scene and confirmed that the victim is now deceased. According to the Department of Health, the victim was a 60-year-old man.

  • According to the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office, there are multiple road closures due to downed power lines and trees. "Please use extreme caution and be mindful of our dusk to dawn curfew," an APSO Facebook post stated.
  • From Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre: Ascension Parish will have a dusk to dawn curfew beginning this evening (Aug. 29). According to the Facebook post, the unified command will revisit tomorrow as needed.
  • From Ascension Parish Government: First responders will cease operations once winds reach 35-45 mph. Public Works will follow suit.
  • From Ascension Parish Clerk of Court Bridget Hanna: The Ascension Parish Courthouse will be closed through Tuesday, August 31st, due to Hurricane Ida. The Clerk of Court online eClerks land system is operational, however, our ACCESS online civil and criminal system will be shut down until the storm passes and it is safe to reboot our computer system.
  • City of Gonzales business offices will be closed Monday, Aug. 30, 2021. This includes City Hall, the Fire Department, and Police Department.
  • All schools and offices of Ascension Public Schools will be closed Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, and Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, due to the projected impacts of Hurricane Ida. These closures include all instructional services, both in-person and online. A decision about operations on Wednesday will be communicated on Tuesday.
  • Early on Sunday morning (Aug. 29), Hurricane Ida strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, according to the National Hurricane Center. It soon reached Category 4 status.

Below is a collection of Hurricane Ida announcements for Ascension Parish:

Ascension Parish opening emergency shelters Sunday morning

Ascension Parish Government will open two evacuation shelters at 8 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 29 for residents fleeing Hurricane Ida.

Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in the Gym, 9039 S. St. Landry Ave, Gonzales, (enter through the second entrance next to the Chapel), and Lowery Middle School, 2389 LA 1 South, Donaldsonville, will both be operated by Ascension Parish Government and will offer a minimum of amenities. Security will be provided by the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office.

Cots will be provided, but anyone coming to the shelters should bring enough food and personal items to last 3 to 5 days. Items to bring include:

• Food

• Water

• Bedding

• Medication

• Clothing

• Toiletries/hygiene products

• Electronics charging cables

The shelters will operate in compliance with COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines, including social distancing and face mask mandates.

“This is a dangerous storm, do not take it lightly,” said President Clint Cointment. “If you think your home may not be safe, don’t take any chances; please come to a shelter.”

Anyone needing assistance should call the Citizens Service Center at 225-450-1200.

Ascension Parish waterways to close at noon Sunday

All Ascension Parish waterways and boat launches will close at 12:00 pm Sunday August 29, in readiness for Hurricane Ida. The closures have been coordinated with Livingston Parish.

“We need everyone to stay home or wherever you plan to ride out the storm,” said President Cointment. “Stay safe, don’t take any chances.”

Parish President Clint Cointment and his administration have developed guidelines to uniformly address high-water situations. Waterways will not reopen until all guidelines are met, and officials are certain the waterways are safe and navigable.

Ascension Government offices to close Monday, Aug. 30

Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment announced this afternoon that Parish Government offices will be closed all day Monday, Aug. 30 due to Hurricane Ida.

“We expect lingering effects from Hurricane Ida will continue to make roadways dangerous through Monday,” said President Cointment. “Only essential personnel from DPW, Drainage, and Emergency Preparedness will be asked to come in.”

A decision on when offices will be reopened will be made on Monday. Employees will be kept informed through the Everbridge Emergency Alert System, and should remain in contact with their supervisors for instructions.

Special Needs Registry

During periods of emergency, first responders may not be able to reach everyone right away, and 911 operators may be tied up taking calls.

If anyone has special needs, call 225-450-1200 and get listed on the Special Needs Registry.

State of Emergency

Following an action by Governor John Bel Edwards, President Clint Cointment place Ascension Parish under a State of Emergency Thursday evening ahead of Hurricane Ida. This status qualifies Ascension for State and Federal assistance, including manpower and funding.

Emergency Operations Center (as of 8 a.m. Aug. 28)

AP OHSEP will begin activation of the Emergency Operations Center today. The Citizen Service Center will be answering resident calls with our Emergency Operations staff. The number is 225-450-1200.

Hurricane Ida will continue to strengthen. Final preparations need to be complete today. Conditions are likely to begin to deteriorate late tonight. Stay tune to local media outlets, local television channel 21 and social media for updates.

AP OHSEP will continue to conduct briefings with our state and local partners as we monitor Hurricane Ida.

At this time, our shelters of last resort are on stand-by. Pump stations are manning around the clock and our team is on full alert.

Lamar Dixon is accepting horses and cattle. Ascension Parish residents who are concerned about rising water in their pastures and stables can bring their horses and cows to the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center stabling at no charge. Animals from outside Ascension Parish will be stabled for a fee. 225-450-1009

President Cointment has advertised multiple sandbag locations. Our teams are working around the clock to provide our residents with pre-filled sandbags.

Ascension Parish Public Schools closed Aug. 30

All schools and offices of Ascension Public Schools will be closed Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, due to the projected impacts of Hurricane Ida. This closure includes all instructional services, both in-person and online, so that staff and families can prepare for and respond to storm impacts.

A decision will be made by Monday as to whether any additional days of school closures are needed as we consult with emergency officials relative to storm location and impacts to our area.

For official decisions regarding school closures, please visit the district website, www.apsb.org.

Postal Service temporarily suspended

In an abundance of caution, and to ensure the safety of both postal customers and employees, the Postal Service is temporarily suspending operations at Post Offices within the following 3-Digit ZIP Code areas until further notice, due to Hurricane Ida.

All retail and delivery operations for facilities in the 703 3-Digit ZIP Code Area are suspended until further notice.

According to a news release, it is effective Saturday, August 28, 2021 at 6:00 p.m.

All retail and delivery operations for facilities in the 700, 701 and 704 - 708 3-Digit ZIP Code Areas will be suspended until further notice.

The Postal Service will be monitoring conditions and working to restore service as soon as it is safe to do so. We will continue to provide updates to keep the public informed about mail delivery and retail operations.