• 75°

Sheriff reports widespread damage in St. Charles Parish

LULING — Sheriff Greg Champagne has chosen to ride out every storm in St. Charles Parish for his entire life, and he said 1965’s Hurricane Betsy is the only disaster that rivals Hurricane Ida in widespread wind damage.

Champagne returned from a survey of St. Charles Parish just before 1 a.m. Monday. Efforts are being made to clear roads and transport residents to shelters, though downed trees have made many streets impassable. Champagne reported power lines are down throughout the parish and all along Highway 90. One crash has already occurred on the highway after a resident trying to reach a shelter encountered low hanging power lines that were nearly invisible in the dark.

Champagne also took note of widespread debris in the form of trees, branches, leaves, and pieces of siding and roof torn from houses.

“We will be without power for days, if not weeks, according to Entergy. Grocery stores and gas stations will probably not be open for days,” Champagne said. “If you are able to remain where you are another day or two, I would recommend it. This will give time for linemen to clear the power lines.”

Champagne advised residents to bring ample necessities including food, water and gasoline upon return, as they will be in short supply.