St. John under Flood Warning through 3:15 p.m. Thursday

Published 7:41 am Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Flood Warning has been issued for St. John the Baptist, St. James and other Southeastern Louisiana parishes until 3:15 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather officials said radar indicated thunderstorms with very heavy rainfall across the warned area are possible, especially over the Baton Rouge Metro area. Saturated grounds can cause excessive runoff of water. Additional street flooding is likely in the Baton Rouge metro area.

In St. John the Baptist Parish, the Emergency Operations Staff continues to monitor weather and flood conditions to the north and west of the Parish and are riding through the Parish for updates.

Firefighters monitored water levels on roadways, outfall canals and lakes for comparison purposes throughout the night and as an indication of potential flooding or rising water.

The National Guard is staging and setting up sheltering at the St. John Community Center should it be needed. Residents should expect to see Guardsmen, vehicles and resources in the area.

Highway 51 low road has high water 3 miles of Peavine and is closed.

Highway 641 is closed in both directions between Interstate 10 and Highway 61 in Gramercy due to high water.

St. John officials said they are following the Blind River, which is flowing backwards and into Gramercy. The concern is the Hope Canal and some of the arteries that stem from it are impacted.

“We’re in constant contact with St. James Parish, because clearly what would effect us would effect them first,” St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom said. “We’re staying in close contact with them.”

Robottom said the heavy rain experienced recently and backwater concerns from it are unprecedented and state and weather officials don’t have historical data to run projection models.

“The water will have to pass, but we’re just hoping it drops in the two lakes and they are large enough to fill a majority of it,” she said.

Sand bags are located at Home Depot Parking lot, Captain G. Bourgeois and the Railroad Avenue, Garyville, Wallace and Pleasure Bend Fire Stations.

Residents should bring their shovels and help fill more bags for neighbors.

No evacuations are ordered at this time.

Residents who are elderly, sick or have difficulty managing on their own are encouraged to contact family members and friends and begin making preparations to leave their homes should they need to leave.

Other residents with concerns about the elevation of their homes and neighborhoods should move their cars and raise furniture and household items. They should also gather medications and protect important papers and keepsakes.