JEFFERSON PARISH, La. -- Officials in Jefferson, Orleans and Tangipahoa parishes are making preparations ahead of a strong line storms moving eastward.
The drainage pump stations are fully staffed, and the drainage canals have been pumped down to lower levels. According to JP officials, street and drainage crews are prepared to respond as necessary
Residents are encouraged to clear the catch basins of any debris to allow proper flow into the system.
Orleans Parish officials are making preparations as well, and warned locals about the strong line of storms approaching the city.
A statement from the city's alert system advised residents: "Heavy rain and storms will affect the area from 9:00—11:00 am. Rainfall of 2-4 inches and wind is expected. Tornadoes are possible as well. Monitor weather conditions and remain alert. Do not attempt to drive through flooded streets."
City officials are advising residents to call 311 for emergency preparedness information and to report malfunctioning traffic signals. "Due to the potentially severe danger that could result from high water, residents should call 911 to report street flooding and life-threatening emergencies," said a statement from the city.
"Residents are advised to stay at home during the severe weather unless an emergency makes it absolutely necessary for them to get on the road. The NOPD will ticket motorists who drive faster than 5 mph on streets with standing water."
In Tangipahoa Parish, crews are passing out sandbags at both road department locations, 44512 West Pleasant Ridge Road in Hammond and in Roseland at 63101 Commercial Street.
According to Parish President Gordon Burgess, around 300 bags were handed out Wednesday.
Jefferson Parish issued to the following statement ahead of the severe weather:
According to the National Weather Service, Jefferson Parish remains under a Tornado Watch at this time and is expecting the potential for heavy rain, strong thunderstorms, and possible street flooding as a strong weather system passes through the area.
Forecasters report the weather threats with this activity include the possibility of tornadoes, damaging winds, and frequent lightning. This activity is expected to move into the Jefferson Parish area and Mississippi Gulf coast areas this morning and afternoon.
Jefferson Parish is prepared for this potential weather event. Drainage Pump Stations staff and field crews are available for the duration of this anticipated weather event.
Citizens are asked to help reduce the chance of street flooding by clearing debris from their streets and drains around their property; such debris impedes water flow into the drainage system.
Parish Ordinance Section 36-188 prohibits motorists from traveling on flooded streets, which may increase the possibility of structural flooding due to wake action caused by moving vehicles. Jefferson Parish Streets Department crews are prepared to utilize barricades, if necessary.