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St. Charles a high risk flood zone, board hears

STACEY PLAISANCE / L’Observateur / August 17, 1998

LULING – St. Charles Parish was dubbed a high-risk flood zone in the event of amassive storm surge by the Emergency Operation Center and the American Red Cross at Wednesday’s St. Charles Parish School Board meeting.Due to considerably low elevation areas, Tab Troxler, director of the department of emergency preparedness, warned board members that no safe areas for emergency shelter services were able to be identified in the parish should a Category Three hurricane hit. Previously recognized shelters included Hahnville High School, J.B.Martin Middle, Destrehan High and Harry Hurst Middle. Harry Hurst Middle and EualLandry were proposed as possible shelters in the event of a Category One hurricane, but these locations could be danger zones in a Category Two storm, Troxler said.

“I doubt we’d open these shelters for a Category Two because it’s too risky,” he said.

“There is still the chance of flooding, and the storm could go up to a Category Three.

The parish takes responsibility for the shelters, and the parish operates and maintains the shelters with the help of Red Cross. They probably won’t open them.”Troxler explained that while many people fear the powerful winds produced by massive storm surges, water was more dangerous to area citizens due to Louisiana’s low continental shelf.

“St. Charles Parish is a coastline parish, and most of this area is susceptible toflooding,” Troxler said “When you’re driving on Airline Highway, you’re driving on the Louisiana coastline. You’re only about 2 feet above sea level in some areas. U.S. 90 isonly about 5 feet above sea level in some areas.” Troxler said that nine out of 10 people killed in storm surge situations die from drowning.

“Everyone seems to be afraid of the wind, but most people drown,” he said. “Stormsurge is our main enemy here. We don’t have the elevation, and evacuation is the onlyanswer.”In other business, the board:

Approved $74,334 in bids from Cajun Office Supplies, Inc. and Louisiana OfficeProducts, Inc. for the purchase of computer workstations and task chairs for fifth-and sixth-grade cIassrooms. The purchase amount will be withdrawn from the board’stechnology fund.

Authorized bidding to purchase equipment, materials and supplies for Destrehan High School’s science labs in the amount of $125,000 from the general fund.

Approved the relocating of fan and light switches by entrance side of doors at Carver Elementary in the amount of $1,158 from Capital funds, and the board approved the removal and replacement of the ceiling in the commons area at Hahnville High School to allow for the sprinkler and AC work to be completed. The project will cost$22,509 from Bond Issue funds. Also accepted was the recommendation forsubstantial completion for the renovation at Destrehan High School in the amount of $258,526 from the Bond Issue fund.

Declined to accept for a second reading by the School Board the recommended revisions to the Pupil Progression Plan for the 1998-99 school term. The board movedto send the PPP back to administration for further review due to discrepancies in the progression plan.

Approved the revision for the Hospital/Homebound Placement and the addition for Student Specific Aide Eligibility. Hospital/Homebound is a program for a student who, as a result of physical illness, accident, emotional crisis or the treatment thereof, is not able to be moved from the hospital or home environment for the provision of educational services for at least 15 operational days.

Accepted the bid from Texaco Exploration and Product, Inc. for the lease of theHahnville High School site for the purpose of allowing seismic activity. The schoolboard will receive $751.80.

Adopted revisions to the Bus Owner’s Annual Agreement.

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