Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News

JEFFERSON, La. -- Leaders in Jefferson and St. Charles Parishes are urging neighbors to take steps to prepare for possible heavy rain beginning Friday and lasting through most of the Labor Day weekend.

'We're hunkering down for what at this time appears to be mainly a rain event,' said Jefferson Parish President John Young.

Thursday, Young put drainage pump operators on duty 24-7. He said public works crews will soon be in place in Lafitte and Grand Isle to respond to potential flooding.

Young said there are also things property owners can do in advance of the bad weather.

'We're asking that our citizens to clean out their catch basins and drains in front of their houses and to remove any obstructions to allow for the free flow of water,' said Young.

JP officials warn motorists that there is a parish ordinance against driving down flooded streets.

St. Charles Parish Emergency Operations Director Scott Whelchel said he's expecting an average of 10 inches of rain, up to 20 inches in some localized areas.

He also expects a prolonged period of high winds out of the east and southeast, leading to higher than normal tides as early as Friday.

'As everybody's been seeing on the news, the models are taking it every which direction,' said Whelchel. 'You have the intensities being not a tropical depression all the way to maybe being a hurricane.'

Local leaders are telling people to monitor the weather and stay informed. That may be a little difficult during the busy Labor Day weekend.

'We have a Saints game tonight, LSU game Saturday night,' said Young.

'We want to make sure that people, although they were focused on some of these fun things to do, the reality is, the probability of getting out of this weekend without some concern with the weather is very low,' said Whelchel.

In St. Charles, sandbag stations have opened at the east and west bank bridge parks.

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