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Northshore experiences freezing weather, people urged to stay home

Tangipahoa Parish saw icy roads and trees down. Water remaining on the roads could turn to patches of ice overnight, officials are still urging people to stay home.

ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — On the Northshore, officials are asking people to stay off the roads Monday night and Tuesday morning in this winter weather.

As of Monday evening, the Causeway was down to one lane in each direction with a 45 mile-per-hour speed limit. The General Manager said they feel confident conditions will not worsen since the bridge is dry and more precipitation is not expected overnight. He does expect restrictions to last into the morning.

Many in Covington spent Monday afternoon at a busy Acquistapace’s to purchase some last-minute items in order to spend the chilly night at home.

“I’m going to go home and make some gumbo,” Herbert Molette said.

Others were on a mission to protect their pipes.

“Always wait until the last minute, but thank goodness ACE Hardware wasn’t out of what I needed,” Marcus Schroeder said.

St. Tammany Parish schools will continue distance learning Tuesday as Parish President Mike Cooper urges people to stay home in this freezing weather. He signed an executive order Monday afternoon, declaring a parish-wide state of emergency. Public works crews put sand out over bridges in case ice forms.

“Any precipitation on the ground is going to ice up, making road conditions very hazardous,” Cooper said.

Further north in Washington Parish just outside of Franklinton, a 53-year-old man was killed in a trailer fire. The Fire Marshall is investigating the cause to confirm if it was related to the winter weather, but Washington Parish Dist. 3 Fire Chief Troy Ordoine, said the victim’s power went out around 9 a.m. and had just come back on before they got the call.

“We got on scene, the house was fully involved, made a knockdown and found one victim in the house,” Ordoine said.

Tangipahoa Parish saw icy roads and trees down. The northern part of I-55 is still closed as of Monday evening, but the portion from Laplace to Ponchatoula reopened.

“Stay home off the roads,” said Tammy Batiste who was doing some last minute shopping at Acquistapace’s Monday. “Last time we had ice, my husband slid in the ditch so were going to stay home.”

Since water remaining on the roads could turn to patches of ice overnight, officials are still urging people to stay home until it warms up.

“Many of our local roads, as well as highways, may be in poor condition tonight,” Cooper said.

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