Ascension Parish prepares for Tropical Storm Nicholas

Staff Report

Ascension Parish government has made a shift in preparation for Tropical Storm Nicholas during the ongoing recovery efforts from Hurricane Ida.

Even though the parish remains under a state of emergency from Hurricane Ida, Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment has declared a new state of emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Nicholas, following the lead of Governor John Bel Edwards, according to a parish government release.

“All of our teams are on full storm alert,” Cointment said. “Many of our residents still don’t have power, yet we’re facing the possibility of heavy rains and flash flooding.”

The parish is making sand and bags available in the usual locations throughout the parish. Because the last storm was so recent, parish crews have not had time to fill more bags, focusing instead on cleanup and recovery.

Parish pump stations, particularly at Marvin Braud, Henderson, and Sorrento, are staffed and on full alert.

“Debris contractors are working hard, but they simply cannot pick up the entire parish in the next 48 hours,” said Cointment. “Please help us to help you: clear your ditches if you can, don’t let debris block drainage, be a good neighbor and help your neighbors with their ditches.” 

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Parish government is delivering tarps to area fire departments for distribution to anyone in need.  Tarps will be available after 2:00 pm today at the following locations:

• Fire District #1 on Airline Hwy (US 61) Gonzales

• Prairieville Fire Dept Main Station on LA Highway 73

• Donaldsonville Fire Department on Marchand Drive

• City of Gonzales will have sandbags and tarps available for pick-up today only, from noon until 5 pm, at the public works building at 2919 South Darla Ave. Must show ID / proof of City of Gonzales residency.

• City of Gonzales will make deliveries to the physically challenged tomorrow between 7:00 am and 5 pm.

“We plan to be as ready as we can be for whatever Nicholas brings,” said Cointment. “In the meantime, stay safe, and God Bless.”

Hurricane Ida debris pick up

Parish government also announced storm debris from Hurricane Ida is being picked up throughout Ascension Parish by a contractor, DRC Environmental Services. 

They are traveling around the entire parish picking up storm debris seven days a week.  Multiple passes will be made over the next several weeks. They are not going to any specific addresses at this time, so it is not necessary to call the parish offices to register. 

Residents are asked to make sure to sort your storm debris into vegetative (trees, limbs, branches, leaves), and construction/demolition (fencing material, lumber, roofing, etc.) and pile it on the right-of-way next to the road.  Do not put in black garage bags. 

Late Sept. 13 update

Cointment's administration was in full storm prep operations throughout the day, the president stated in a social media post.

"Every storm is different, tropical storm Nicholas could have the potential to create serious issues in our parish. The possibility of 8 to 10 inches of rain should never be taken lightly, although 4 to 5 inches are expected," he said. 

The top concern is the number of trees and debris in the parish's major channels and ditches from Hurricane Ida.

"We have simply have not had enough time to clear the obstructions as we continue to recover from Hurricane Ida. We have pumped down our channels in anticipation of this event to create capacity for the storm. We will monitor the rain totals to assess areas of concern and remain vigilant throughout this storm. Stay safe, stay informed and God Bless," he concluded.