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Hurricane Zeta approaching landfall as a strong Category 2 storm

LAPLACE — St. John the Baptist Parish residents are asked to stay off the roadways for the next several hours and prepare for damaging winds, coastal flooding, periods of heavy rain and tornado threats as Hurricane Zeta moves into Southeastern Louisiana as a dangerous category 2 storm.

St. John Parish remains under a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning, in addition to a flash flood and tornado watch. Confidence is high that Southeastern Louisiana will be impacted by high speed winds. While St. John Parish is to the west of the expected path of the eye wall, the peak wind forecast for this area is 35 to 45 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour.

There is potential for 4 to 6 feet of storm surge within surge prone areas.

Parish EOC opened a shelter of last resort at noon today for residents whose homes cannot withstand high winds at East St. John Preparatory Gymnasium, located at 400 Ory Dr., LaPlace, LA 70068. Residents are responsible for their transportation to and from the shelter.  Residents were asked anything they need including food, clothing, bedding and medicine. For more information please contact the Emergency Operations Center at 652-2222.

Misuse of generators was a leading cause of fatalities surrounding tropical systems that impacted Louisiana this year. Please take note of the following generator safety tips:

— Do not use a generator inside your home, garage, basement, crawlspace or any partially enclosed area. Keep them outside of your living spaces and away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come inside.
— Be sure to check on your family and neighbors who may be using generators to remind them about the importance of keeping generators outside of their home and other enclosed spaces.
— Place generators at least 20 feet away from your home, downwind away from open doors, windows and vents.
— Turn the generator off before refueling, and allow it to cool for 15-20 minutes.
— Never try to power the house wiring by plugging the generator into a wall outlet — instead, use a heavy-duty, outdoor extension cord to plug appliances into generators.
—Do not use generators in rain or wet conditions.
Place a fire extinguisher nearby.
Get a carbon monoxide monitor for your home.
To get weather updates like these right to your cell phone, text SJPWEATHER to 888-777.