Severe weather causes damage, closes schools

Staff reports
A crew works to clear a damaged house at 436163 Weber City Road. The house was moved off its foundation and much of its debris scattered around the area. Sally Landry and her dog were able to escape the the home late Thursday night after severe weather passed through the area.

A possible tornado ripped through Ascension Parish late last night, and the threat of more severe weather and flooding continued into Friday, according to forecasters.

A flash flood watch remains in effect through Saturday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

All public schools in Ascension Parish were closed for Friday due to the weather conditions and power outages, school officials said.

The Ascension Parish School Board announced the closure on its Web site,

St. John Primary in Prairieville and St. Theresa Middle in Gonzales also closed. Faith Academy in Gonzales opened for the day.

Parent-teacher conferences scheduled for primary schools in the parish also had to be canceled.

A storm in the Gonzales area late Thursday night caused structural damage and power outages.

Ascension Parish Superintendent of Schools Donald Songy said road closures were a factor in the decision to close the schools for the day.

Several residences and businesses in the St. Amant area reported damage due to the overnight weather.

Some of the most severe damage occurred on Weber City Road, near St. Amant High School, where a woman reportedly escaped with her dog from the only room in her house that remained standing.

The National Weather Service reports flooding is possible across southeast Louisiana and southern Mississippi through Friday night.

The round of showers and thunderstorms has the potential to produce several inches of rain with the potential for most areas to receive one to two or more inches of rain, according to the NWS.

The Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security will provide updates on the situation throughout the day.

Sand and sandbags are available at the Department of Public Works facility at 42077 Churchpoint Road, Gonzales, according to the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

As of 12:45 p.m., the OEP office reports the following road closures:

- R. Daigle Road from Hwy. 431 to Denham Road (local traffic only)

- St. Landry at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center

- Bayou Narcisse closed from Roddy to Hwy. 431 (local traffic only)

- Cypress Cove on L. Landry Road

- Hodgenson Road off Clouatre Road

The severe weather moved this damaged house off its blocks.