Low-lying areas of Garyville, Mt. Airy, Reserve could see increased water levels

Published 7:54 am Monday, August 15, 2016

LAPLACE — Lake and river levels in St. John the Baptist Parish are being monitored with only slight increases in water levels over the weekend, parish leaders said Monday afternoon.

There is the potential for increased water levels in canals, ditches and drainage outlets in low-lying areas of Garyville and Mt. Airy and Reserve north of Airline Highway due to backwater flooding from Blind River and the Maurepas Swamp.

Parish officials said this is not a Hurricane Isaac or tidal flooding event, this is backwater flooding.

Sandbags and sand are available at fire stations at Garyville, Wallace and Pleasure Bend. The parish sandbagging operation is ongoing and is located at the Captain Bourgeois location.

“We are witnessing historic flooding across the state and are preparing for the possibility of backwater flooding associated with the increased water levels in the Amite River,” a release from the Parish said. “While there is no need to panic, residents should remain vigilant in preparing for the possibility of flooding and making preparations for their families, pets and property.”

Parish Officials are monitoring weather events and preparing to respond should the need arise and residents are encouraged to monitor weather channels and parish communications outlets for updates to this information.

The National Weather Service is predicting scattered showers and thunderstorms to impact the region including St. John the Baptist Parish through Thursday.

Due to recent extended rainfall, grounds are saturated, all outfall drainage ditches and canals are full and the sewer system has been inundated with rain water. Although severe weather is not expected, additional rainfall will quickly runoff and contribute to street flooding and potentially flash flooding in low-lying areas and areas near bodies of water or swamps.

St. John Parish Administrators are requesting assistance from residents in cleaning out catch basins and storm drains at homes and businesses to assist with drainage flow. Residents should also remain vigilant in monitoring weather and news stations for continuous updates on conditions and statewide flooding.

Dial 511 or visit 511la.org for the latest road information.

The St. John Parish Emergency Operations Center remains in contact with the National Weather Service and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness for any changes.

Sign up to receive emergency notifications to your home phone, cell phone, email or SMS text messaging device. Residents may sign up for the service by visiting the homepage of the Parish’s website at www.sjbparish.com and clicking on “Stay Connected.”