St. Martin Parish Public Works personnel began placing sand on Parish roads and bridges at daybreak this morning in preparation for the imminent severe freezing conditions. Once this is completed, they will remain on standby to address any emergencies until the conditions abate.
Interestingly, the current and predicted temperatures vary from the southern part of upper St. Martin to Arnaudville. The variance is even greater when one considers the Stephensville/Belle River areas. However, the entire Parish is in for a cold and treacherous several days. Moreover, beginning during the early evening hours today, the temperature will fall below freezing. This will occur several hours later in Stephensville and Belle River. In the entire Parish the temperatures will REMAIN BELOW FREEZING until mid-morning Wednesday. Therefore, we will experience below freezing temperatures for more that 2 days CONSECUTIVELY.
Even more concerning is the fact that frozen precipitation is forecast for the Parish commencing this evening and not ending until some time around noon Monday. Consequently, we can expect the accumulation of ice anywhere from .10 to .50 of an inch. The ice accumulation will render driving extremely hazardous. In fact, one meteorologist commented during a conference yesterday that it is impossible to drive with ice accumulation of one-half inch. Thus, PLEASE DO NOT DRIVE UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Avoid all overpasses beginning NOW. Parish President Chester Cedars refers specifically, though not exclusively, to those in our Parish at Saltmine Highway, Highway 31, and Bordelon Road.
President Cedars notes again that it remains possible that I-10 will be closed, especially as regards the section over the Atchafalaya Basin.
Additionally, as reported Friday, the conditions will possibly cause power outages because of the collection of ice on power lines and tree branches which may break and impact those lines.
In preparation for the foregoing, check generators to ensure that they are functionable and fuel is available. Stock up on food, water, and extra fuel. Also, have a supply of batteries and keep your phones and electronic devices fully charged. Finally, all exposed pipes should be “winterized”, and all of your pets and plants protected.
Updates will be posted if there are any changes in the forecasts. Parish President Chester Cedars is scheduled to participate in a conference this afternoon.
Anyone needing any assistance whatsoever should call the Parish’s OEP at 337.394.2808.
Even though this is an update relative to the weather, President Cedars would like to nevertheless take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day (today), Presidents Day (tomorrow), and Mardi Gras (Tuesday).