Freeze Warnings - parish updates

Meteorologist Alexandra Cranford has the forecast at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, December 31, 2017.

Here are what some of the parishes are saying about the freeze warnings in their areas.

Jefferson Parish, in accordance with the Emergency Management offices in the region, is activating the Parish-wide Freeze Plan beginning today and ending the morning of Thursday, January 4, 2018 as the National Weather Service forecasts the temperature or wind chill to fall below the 35 degrees. The coldest temperatures are still expected Monday night/Tuesday morning and Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. The prolonged period of consecutive subfreezing nights will have a cumulative effect on exposed people, animals, vegetation, and pipes. Some places will not rise above freezing Monday afternoon, especially across southwest Mississippi and the adjacent Louisiana parishes. While the exact forecast temperatures may fluctuate in the coming days, forecast confidence remains high regarding widespread freezing conditions over several consecutive nights.

Dangerous Wind Chills
As the cold air moves into the area tonight it will be accompanied by strong winds. Dangerous wind chills are expected across northern areas tonight and across nearly the entire area Monday and Tuesday nights. Single digit wind chills are forecast for much of the area Monday night and Tuesday night. Forecast confidence remains high regarding the occurrence of dangerous wind chill values across most of the area.

Weather Preparedness for Residents & Visitors

Residents are urged to bring pets inside and to check on neighbors and the elderly during cold weather. If spending time outside during this weekend’s festivities, individuals are encouraged to wear layers, a hat and gloves and to carry a cell phone. Additionally, residents are advised to prepare their homes for cold weather, taking fire safety precautions. Space heaters should never be left unattended and a stove or an oven should never be used to heat the home. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked to be sure they are working. Water pipes can be damaged from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures. Residents and property owners are encouraged to protect against damage by insulating exposed pipes, running a “pencil lead thin” (1/16 inch) stream of water, or turning off water.

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Orleans Parish - The City is activating its Citywide Freeze Plan (CFP) beginning the evening of Sunday, Dec.31, 2017 and ending the morning of Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 as the National Weather Service forecasts the temperature or wind chill to fall below the plan’s activation threshold of 35 degrees. The City's freeze plan will be in effect to provide temporary overnight shelter for homeless residents. 

Shelter for the Homeless

Individuals needing shelter will be accepted, free of charge, at the following locations under the following conditions:

  •  The Salvation Army, 4530 South Claiborne Ave. – will accept males and females   beginning at 4 p.m.
  •  Ozanam Inn, 843 Camp St. – will accept males only beginning at 4 p.m.
  •  Covenant House, 611 North Rampart St. – will accept males and females between the ages 16-21, their dependent children, and any female with dependent minor  children. Mothers with small children may come anytime.
  •  New Orleans Mission, 1130 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. – will only accept male or  and female adults beginning at 4 p.m.

The public is asked to call the New Orleans Police Department non-emergency number, 504-821-2222, to report someone in need of shelter.

Cold Weather Preparedness for Residents & Visitors

Residents are urged to bring pets inside and to check on neighbors and the elderly during cold weather. If spending time outside during this weekend’s festivities, individuals are encouraged to wear layers, a hat and gloves and to carry a cell phone.

Additionally, residents are advised to prepare their homes for cold weather, taking fire safety precautions. Space heaters should never be left unattended and a stove or an oven should never be used to heat the home. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be checked to be sure they are working.

Water pipes can be damaged from prolonged exposure to cold temperatures.Residents and property owners are encouraged to protect against damage by insulating exposed pipes, running a “pencil lead thin” (1/16 inch) stream of water, or turning off water. More information is available in the Sewerage and Water Board’s Guide to Fighting the Freeze.

St. Charles Parish - Emergency Operations Center. The National Weather Service in New Orleans has upgraded the Freeze Watch to a Freeze Warning, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 11 AM on Monday. A Freeze Warning means sub-freezing temperatures are imminent or highly likely.

 A Hard Freeze Watch has also been issued from Monday evening through Tuesday morning. A Hard Freeze Watch means sub-freezing temperatures are possible.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

Make frequent checks on the elderly. Make sure their furnaces are working and heating the house properly.

Be particularly careful with portable heaters...there is a danger of fire or poisonous fumes

Pets are also subject to the extreme cold. Keep pets indoors as much as possible. if this is not possible...make sure outdoor pets have warm...dry shelter and provide sufficient food and
fresh unfrozen water.

St. John the Baptist Parish - The National Weather Service has issued a Freeze Warning for St. John the Baptist Parish and surrounding areas overnight Sunday through Monday at noon as well as Monday night until Tuesday at noon.

During this time, St. John is forecast to experience 4 or more hours of below 25 degree temperatures. Residents should make preparations now and stay tuned to weather stations for updates as most of the area could see 5 to 6 nights of subfreezing temperatures this week. No wintery precipitation is predicted at this time. 

Please remember to bring pets and plants inside and remember to wrap pipes at home. Always use caution with heating equipment and unplug equipment when leaving a room.

St. Tammany - With temperatures expected to dip into the low thirties to twenties here on the Northshore over the coming days, the St. Tammany Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in conjunction with the New Orleans Mission, will open a warming shelter for those in need. Severe cold weather protocols are also in place. Designated employees have been placed on notice for activation if the weather dictates.

On Sunday, December 31, 2017, beginning at 1p.m. residents can shelter in the Giving Hope Retreat Center of the New Orleans Mission located at 31294 Highway 190 in Lacombe. The shelter will remain open until the morning of Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Citizens should bring bedding, comfort items, prescription medication, and any personal hygiene items. Citizens are reminded that alcohol and firearms are not allowed. The Northshore Hotline of the Giving Hope Retreat Center is 985-218-9485.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reminds residents to use care when using portable natural gas, propane or butane heaters for warmth in areas of poor ventilation, as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. When using any portable heater beware of flammable surroundings.

The Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents with elderly individuals in their families to make certain they have a safe and effective way to heat their residences. Furthermore, they are asking residents if they know of at-risk families or neighbors that could fall victim to severe cold weather, to please check on them during the evening and morning hours to confirm their safety.

In addition, Tammany Utilities advises that in the event of a Hard Freeze Warning, all residents should take the necessary precautions, like wrapping their pipes, to prevent pipes from freezing and potentially bursting. The Department of Animal Services warns pet and livestock owners to also take special precautions to safeguard the wellbeing of animals in their care, including bringing pets indoors and preventing water sources from freezing over for livestock.  To stay abreast of the weather forecast, please keep up with the National Weather Service here: www.weather.gov, and monitor local news outlets.

Tangipahoa Parish - President Robby Miller announced Sunday that his office has partnered with area churches to open warming centers at three sites starting at 8 p.m. today and continuing through Thursday.

Miller said that the National Weather Service advised his office that the forecast calls for four days of especially “arctic” cold conditions, with temperatures expected to be at or below freezing for periods of 15-21 hours each day.

“These are extremely cold conditions that we typically do not experience in South Louisiana, and we are concerned that our residents are not equipped for four days of extended cold, as has been forecast,” Miller said.

To that end, the parish has partnered with Crossgate Church in Robert and Brown’s Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in the Village of Tangipahoa, both of which will open their doors as warming centers starting Sunday, Dec. 31, at 8 p.m.

“On behalf of our entire Team Tangipahoa family, the Parish Council, and especially our residents, I’d like to thank Rev. Funchess and Pastor Husser for opening their doors to the community during this weather emergency,” Miller said.

The parish will also utilize the second floor of their new EOC headquarters in Amite as a warming center.

Residents checking into the warming center should bring any clothing, toiletries, and medicine they need during their stay. House pets may be brought to the warming centers but they will be sheltered at an off-site location, Miller said.

The warming center are expected to be in place through Thursday morning, officials said. Locations for these warming centers are as follows:

Crossgate Church – 985-507-7988
22494 Hwy 190 
Robert, LA 70455

Brown's Chapel Missionary Baptist Church – 985-514-6099
40427 Martin Luther King Dr. 
Kentwood, LA 70444

Tangipahoa Parish EOC/Saferoom 2nd Floor - 985-748-2269
114 N. Laurel St. 
Amite, LA 70422

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