St. John avoids mass damage

Published 11:45 pm Friday, May 30, 2014

By Monique Roth

LAPLACE — Although spared from the rampant flooding faced in St. James Parish, St. John the Baptist Parish homes and businesses were not entirely safe from rising waters and damaging winds this week as severe weather impacted several areas overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning.

Meteorologist Danielle Manning with The National Weather Service said rain was heaviest in the west side of St. John Parish, with up to 10 to 12 inches falling in that area. She said 3 to 5 inches fell on the east side of the parish.

At approximately 5:30 a.m. Wednes day, the National Weather Service’s radar indicated a rotation of 115 mph winds moving over Edgard and across the Mississippi River into Garyville. These winds caused downed trees and power outages in Edgard, Wallace, Garyville and Reserve.

The National Weather Service confirmed an EF 1 tornado touched down early Wednesday morning, causing damage to Edgard and Garyville, including Marathon Garyville Refinery. Officials with Marathon released a statement about damage at its facility.

“As a result of the severe storm (Wednesday) morning, the Garyville refinery experienced some damage and loss of power to part of the refinery,” Angelia Graves said in a written release Wednesday. “We are in process of evaluating the damage and assessing operations. We have made notifications to the appropriate local and federal agencies.”

Graves wrote there was no offsite impact.

Paige Falgoust, communications director for St. John Parish, said 12 reports of flooded homes in St. John Parish were received. All of the impacted homes were in Mt. Airy on Marigold, Daffodil and Chestnut streets. She said Red Cross was out on Thursday assisting those residents with clean up kits.

Sporadic roof damage was also reported across the parish and the bay doors of the Edgard Fire Station were damaged.