March 20, 2019 UPDATE:
We have recently learned that approximately 3,000 empty sand bags have been STOLEN from Stephensville Park. Therefore, a limited number of bags will be available on site. If the problem continues, St. Martin Parish Government will be forced to implement more inconvenient measures.
Original Post (March 18, 2019):
This morning, St. Martin Parish officials, including Parish President Chester Cedars, conferred with representatives of GOHSEP and with individuals from the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center and the Emergency Management Office of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Current weather patterns reflect that for the next week to 10 days, the water levels in St. Martin Parish will remain constant and are unlikely to rise. In fact, a steady, slow reduction is forecast over that period.
After the meeting, the Parish President and the OEP evaluated the status of the measures in place in Stephensville/Belle River. Since March 6, 2019, over 47,085 bags of sand have been distributed. All of the flood control measures previously implemented have been effective in preventing loss or damage to property. In view of the fact that no increase in the water levels is anticipated, sand bagging and distribution will cease at 5:00 P.M. today, March 18, 2019. SAND WILL REMAIN IN PLACE AT THE STEPHENSVILLE PARK AND RESIDENTS MAY CONTINUE TO ACCESS SAND AND BAGS AT THAT LOCATION.
All sandbagging equipment will be returned to the Parish barn to be serviced and to commence to replace the depleted stockpile of bagged sand. The stockpiling of sand bags prepared in January of this year was responsible for the timely and successful distribution since March 6, 2019. The effective, efficient adoption and implementation of flood control measures mandate that the Parish maintain prepared bags that can immediately be dispatched to needed locations in the event of potential emergency situations.
The high water issue will remain a threat for the next 6-8 weeks. THEREFORE, RESIDENTS ARE ADMONISHED NOT TO REMOVE THE SAND BAGS PREVIOUSLY PLACED ON THEIR PROPERTY FOR PROTECTION. The reduction of the water level over the next week or so will likely be followed by another rise. Hence, all drains will remain plugged and the pumps secured by the Parish WILL NOT be removed from their current sites.