The forecast for Hurricane Ida shows a further eastward shift from our last reports. Over the last 24 hours, the projected point of landfall has shifted approximately 80 miles to the east. As of the 10:00 A.M. NWS conference attended by Parish President Chester Cedars, landfall is predicted slightly east of Grand Isle in the next couple of hours.
As stated in our updates yesterday, a shift of the forecast path of Hurricane Ida affects the impact which can be expected from the storm. According to the information received this morning, the following is what we can expect in our Parish:
• Landfall is now projected to occur near Grand Isle within the next 1-2 hours. At the time of landfall, it will be a Category 4 hurricane and very close to a Category 5 storm; however, the storm should weaken quickly.
• The storm is currently moving at a forward speed of 13 MPH with winds currently at 135 MPH.
• Tropical storm winds associated with the storm will soon affect upper St. Martin Parish. From the current time until approximately 9:00 P.M. wind gusts from 37 MPH to 63 MPH will likely occur. From that point forward, the winds will decrease and are expected to be 30 MPH at 9:00 A.M. tomorrow. The eastward shifts have reduced the potential wind gusts previously projected.
• The wind speed for lower St. Martin can now be expected to be between 53 to 78 MPH at 6:00 P.M. At that time, the winds will subside and be at less than 40 MPH at 6:00 A.M. tomorrow morning.
• Rainfall will be from 2-4 inches minimum to a maximum of 6-10 inches. For all of our region, it is safe to say that the rainfall will be from 3-8 inches. The amount and intensity of the rain will be dependent upon how far east one resides. Simply, the eastern parts of the Parish will likely receive greater rain that the western portions. Also, some portions of the Parish may receive rain bands which increase the volume of rainfall. The foregoing are the reasons the values predicted have such a significant range.
• Potential storm surge of 1 foot or less is now predicted with respect to our region except for Iberia and St. Mary Parishes where the storm surge can be from 1-2 feet, mainly south of Highway 14 and U.S. 90. The eastward shift has significantly, and positively, affected the surge for our region.
The confidence level assigned to the forecast path and intensity is much more certain now that Hurricane Ida is about to make landfall.
Despite the more favorable forecasts for St. Martin Parish, the wind intensity and the length of time we will experience tropical storm force wind is likely to produce power outages. Thus, prepare accordingly.
Subsequent to his conference this morning with the NWS, OEP, and the Sheriff’s Office, President Cedars relaxed the previously imposed a curfew which will now commence at 5:00 P.M. today and last until Noon on Monday. Please note that many roads will not be passable for quite some time after the storm. Public works crews have been assigned to specific zones and immediately after the storm’s passage, the crews will commence clearing all roadways and laterals.
All Parish owned and operated facilities will still be closed Monday, August 30, 2021. This includes the St. Martin Parish Courthouse. At this point, it is anticipated that Parish facilities will be opened Tuesday.
The Bayou Milhomme Bridge in Stephensville will be closed relative to boat traffic until 5:00 P.M. Monday.
As stated earlier, Public Works employees will remain on standby and shall be prepared to respond to post-storm issues as soon as the storm passes. Please report all public works issues to the Sheriff’s Office or 911. Also, designated administrative personnel shall also be on standby and expected to report to work as directed by the Parish President.
Anyone needing any assistance whatsoever should call the Parish’s OEP at (337)394-2808.