Flooding concerns persist for St. James Parish; schools closed Monday

Published 2:06 pm Sunday, August 14, 2016

CONVENT — The National Weather Service is forecasting historic levels of backwater flooding on the east bank of St. James Parish. As a result, Parish President Timmy Roussel issued a state of emergency for St. James Parish on Saturday.
Areas with the greatest possibility of flooding include all areas north of La. Hwy. 3125, Oscar Brooks Apartments, Admiral’s Landing Street, North Nobile Street and all previously impacted low-lying areas.
St. James Parish School System Superintendent Ed Cancienne announced all public schools will be closed on Monday. School personnel should not report to work on Monday. The central office will be open on Monday and central office personnel should report to work if they are able to do so safely.St. Peter Chanel Interparochial School will be closed on Monday, Aug. 15.

Parish officials ask residents not take this threat lightly. If you experienced backwater flooding in the past, you will likely experience it again during this weather event. It is expected the water will remain in the area for several days.
For residents, sand and bags for sandbagging are available, if needed, at the following locations: Grand Point Fire Station, Young’s Kwik Stop in Convent, Gramercy River Road Fire Station and Gramercy North Airline Highway Fire Station (Near St. James Nursery).
West Bank Locations are King View Street Fire Station and South Vacherie Fire and Rescue Training Center (Near Health Unit).Residents are encouraged to bring your own shovel and bag your own sand. These locations will have sand delivered regularly throughout this weather event. Volunteers are requested to assist with sandbagging operations at the Grand Point Fire Station. Sandbagging will take place daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.Residents are also asked to clean yards of fallen leaves, tree branches and other debris to prevent these items from entering the drainage system. Please avoid placing debris in ditches, drainage canals, and on the side of the road.

Preparations are underway to address any potential flooding issues that may arise.  On the East Bank, parish officials are closely monitoring the Blind River gauge. On the West Bank, the parish is prepared to close the weir at the Vacherie Canal and begin pumping, if necessary.