Shock to the system

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 6, 2010



LAPLACE – With temperatures plummeting to record lows and hard freeze warnings for most of southeast Louisiana, parish officials in St. John and St. Charles are taking precautions to protect vital public services.

In St. John Parish, public works crews are taking necessary steps to protect sewage and water system pipes from the deep freeze.

St. John Acting Chief Administrative Officer Buddy Boe said parish employees spent Monday night insulating all of the exposed main pipes at the parish’s water and sewage plants. He also said crews will be keeping an eye on pipes at intake wells.

“It just comes down to keeping the flow going through the pipes,” Boe said. “There is always a constant flow of water through the pipes to ensure that none become frozen over.”

Similar precautions are being taken in St. Charles Parish, where emergency operations officials are taking steps to keep all parish services flowing smoothly.

“We are not expecting any sort of emergency situation,” said St. Charles Parish spokeswoman Renee Simpson. “But we are ready if the need should arise.”

Both Boe and Simpson said neither parish offers any kind of shelter space for the homeless population or any resident trying to get out of the cold.

“In the past, we have always determined that there is just no need for any kind of established shelter from the cold,” Boe said. “St. John Parish is a community of close knit families and anyone in need of any sort of help can usually find it in a family friend.”

Simpson said social services offices, including the Department of Community Service and the Council on Aging, offer assistance with home improvements and utility bill payments.

River Parishes residents can also get some immediate assistance from the local Red Cross Agency in Luling by dialing 985-785-0647.