This update reflects the latest NWS conference attended by Parish President Chester Cedars this afternoon at 4:00 PM. Hurricane Ida continues to strengthen and is expected to be a Category 4 Hurricane at the point and at the time of landfall. However, on a somewhat positive note for our region, the Hurricane has drifted slightly to the east. The following is a recapitulation of pertinent information relative to the storm:
• Landfall is now projected to occur near Port Fourchon which is east of Morgan City. Projected landfall time remains at approximately 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. Sunday. At the time of landfall, it will be a Category 4 hurricane.
• The storm is currently moving at a forward speed of 16 MPH with winds at 105 MPH.
• Tropical storm wind associated with the storm will affect our region beginning at 9:00 A.M. on Sunday morning. Wind will not end until 10:00 A.M. to Noon on Monday. Wind gusts up to 50 to 70 MPH can be expected from Sunday morning until late Monday morning. The earlier forecast had the winds at up to 90 MPH. Thus, the eastward shift reduced the potential wind gusts previously projected.
• The wind speed for lower St. Martin can now be expected to be between 60 to 90 MPH and last from 8:00 A.M. Sunday until 11:00 Monday.
• Rainfall will be between 4 to 10 inches from now until Wednesday at midday. Later tonight we can expect to experience rainfall associated with the storm.
• Potential storm surge of 1-3 feet is still possible with respect to our region, except for Iberia and St. Mary Parishes where the storm surge can be from 1 to 7 feet, mainly south of Highway 14 and U.S. 90.
The confidence level assigned as of this afternoon was “high”. Also, the values assigned to the wind intensity, rainfall, and storm surge may increase if Hurricane “wobbles” to the west or decrease even more if there is a movement to the east. Nonetheless, although better than this morning, the impacts to our Parish will nevertheless be severe.
Because of the wind intensity, widespread power outages are still expected. Furthermore, those outages could likely be for a prolonged period of time. Thus, prepare accordingly.
Subsequent to his conference this morning with the NWS, OEP, and Sheriff’s Office, President Cedars extended the previously imposed a curfew which will now commence at Noon Sunday until 5:00 P.M. Monday. Please note that many roads will not be passable for quite some time after the storm. Public Works crew have been assigned to specific zones and immediately after the storm’s passage, the crew will commence clearing all roadways and laterals.
Furthermore, because of the data received this morning, President Cedars ordered a voluntary evacuation for the Stephensville and Belle River communities in lower St. Martin. That order remains if effect.
All Parish owned and operated facilities will be closed Monday, August 30, 2021. This includes the St. Martin Parish Courthouse. The closures may extend beyond Monday depending on the damages associated with the storm.
The Bayou Milhomme Bridge in Stephensville will be closed relative to boat traffic commencing at 5:00 P.M. Saturday until 5:00 P.M. Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard has been advised accordingly.
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. Also, designated administrative personnel shall also be on standby and expected to report to work as directed by the Parish President.
Should the time of closures be extended, the public and Parish employees will be advised accordingly.
As usual, projections regarding this storm are still evolving. Therefore, an updated post will be forthcoming late tomorrow morning after a scheduled OEP/NWS conference at 10:00 A.M.
Anyone needing any assistance whatsoever should call the Parish’s OEP at (337)394-2808.