This week’s issue of “Making Progress,” is about making you “Storm Ready” for the upcoming tropical storm season. While we are always hopeful not to have landfall of any storm or hurricane, we would like to bring some information to your attention to assist you in the event we have an event.

First, we want to share the results of our City of Donaldsonville Hurricane Briefing which was hosted by the Parish of Ascension’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (OHSEP). The briefing provided our city team with all the tools we need to protect you and our city in the event there is an event this season. This year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reported that hurricane season (from June 1 through November 30) forecasters predict a 45% chance of an above-normal season, a 35% chance of a near-normal season and only a 20% chance of a below-normal season. Additionally, they predicted a 70% chance that 11 to 17 named storms (with winds above 39 mph or higher) could form with 5 to 9 of those becoming hurricanes with winds of 74 mph or higher, including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4, or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). While predictions suggest a higher than average season, it only takes one storm to produce major damage to our area.

In this article, I also want to give you some suggestions on how you can be informed and aware of all the steps you should take should an event occur.  Should an event occur, the public phone lines to call once a storm makes landfall is 225-621-8360; of course life, health, and safety emergencies should always call 911. Residents are encouraged to register for CODE RED alert system by logging into codered.com or by downloading the CODE RED app on your mobile device. The CODE RED system will send you alerts (via email or SMS text) of any weather or hazard impacting you at your home address (or the address you select). You may also contact the Community Information Line at 866-380-2303. Additionally, you may tune into KKAY 1590 AM for up-to-the-minute updates on any emergency event. If you are on Facebook, you should follow the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at APOHSEP as well as the City of Donaldsonville’s page at DonaldsonvilleLA. Additionally, you should also register to receive notifications on your mobile device from Entergy. You can do this by either visiting the entergystormcenter.com website and get information on outages and predicted restoration of power. You can also follow Entergy on social media at Facebook.com/entergy. You can also text REG to 368374 or register to receive alerts from Entergy in your app store at entergy.com/app/. Finally, you may call Entergy at 800-968-8243 for phone contact and additional information about your Entergy service.

If you have special medical needs, you are encouraged to complete the Medial Special Needs Registry form. Forms are available on the Ascension Parish OHSEP website at http://specialneeds.apgov.us/. If you need assistance and do not have computer access, forms and registration is available at City Hall during the month of September. This allows first responders to know IN ADVANCE that you may have emergency medical needs and will be registered PRIOR to any emergency event occurring.

In the event of major damage, the Red Cross will operate evacuation centers locally and will be made available to residents. Finally, should prolonged outages or damage occur, FEMA will release information on further services that will be made available through their support teams. Information will be published on the City’s Facebook page or by calling the OHSEP information line at 866-380-2303. KKAY will also have information at 1590 AM.

During the upcoming weeks, you will receive more information in your gas bills and will also be available at City Hall. Stay tuned for the next issue of Making Progress to get more information about continuing road, lighting, sewer, gas, and drainage improvements as well as events taking place in our community.

Stay tuned for future updates as we continue to work toward improving our community. And as always, my door is open to you. Please stop by for a visit or make an appointment to meet with me with my assistant Joyce Madison by calling 225-473-4247, ext. 10. You are also welcome to attend any of our commission meetings, committee meetings, or our city council meetings. Downtown Development District Meetings are the last Monday of every month at City Hall beginning at 6 p.m., Historic District Commission Meetings are the last Wednesday of every month at City Hall beginning at 6 p.m., City Council Meetings are held at 6:00 p.m. the second and fourth Tuesday of the month with the Committee of the Whole on the Monday in between the City Council Meetings starting at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. Specific dates are available at City Hall and are all subject to change – please see the Public Notice Board at the front door of City Hall.

Also please stay up-to-date with our communication by following the City of Donaldsonville Facebook page @donaldsonvilleLA the Donaldsonville Downtown Development District @DonaldsonvilleDDD and / or the Donaldsonville Main Street Program.

For more information, contact:

Lee Melancon, III

225-445-1383