Parish leaders monitoring TS Karen

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser and parish officials are continuing to monitor weather conditions in the Gulf of Mexico. President Nungesser encourages residents to stay tuned to local news stations for the latest updates. Residents are also asked to clear all drainage basins and secure loose lawn items including garbage cans.

All Plaquemines Parish Recreation Department games are canceled for this weekend.

"We are fully prepared for a potential heavy rain event. All pump stations are operational and we have crews on stand-by," said President Nungesser.

In St. Bernard Parish, President David Peralta said parish officials and staff are in constant communications with the National Weather Service and surrounding key agencies to monitor the current weather situation.

Although the tropical system appears to be heading North/Northeast (at this time), St. Bernard Parish is expected to experience an influx of moisture, heavy rains and winds on Friday night through Saturday. President Peralta reminds residents and businesses to remain cautious.

The Terrebonne Levee & Conservation District is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Karen.  Currently, the TLCD has closed the Placid Canal Floodgate in Chauvin.  All other floodgates remain open at this time.  It is highly likely that the Humble Canal Gate in Montegut will close sometime Friday.

The City of New Orleans is also closely monitoring tropical storm Karen. In anticipation of severe weather forecasted for the area, the city is reminding residents to monitor weather conditions and stay alert. According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain and storms will affect the area beginning Friday evening.

Residents should call NOLA 311 for emergency preparedness information and to report malfunctioning traffic signals.

In Kenner, Mayor Michael Yenni has placed the city's Emergency Action Team on standby to closely monitor Tropical Storm Karen, which was located in the southern Gulf of Mexico Thursday morning and on a forecasted track to move east of the metropolitan area for a landfall in the panhandle of Florida this weekend.

Kenner and the rest of the metropolitan area is currently under a tropical storm watch, while a hurricane watch has been posted from Grand Isle east into Florida. There is a chance Karen could become a minimal hurricane as the storm approaches the Gulf Coast, but forecasters believe it will then weaken somewhat before making landfall, perhaps late Saturday or early Sunday.

Any updated information, based on future weather forecasts, will be released immediately on the city's website, the Kenner Facebook Page and to all Kenner Twitter followers.

"As of this morning, we are being told this storm will bring only a wet and windy weekend to the area," Yenni said. "However, we will monitor weather forecasts 24 hours a day and keep Kenner residents informed at all times."

In the meantime, Kenner residents can help by clearing storm drains in their neighborhood of debris in the event of heavy rains this weekend. If any drains are severely clogged, residents can contact the Public Works Department at 468-7515 to have the drains cleared.

The St. Tammany Parish Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is receiving continual updates from weather experts at the National Weather Service and we are monitoring the track of this system. St. Tammany Parish has implemented its "Storm in the Gulf" protocols.

St. Tammany Parish is poised to fully activate its emergency preparedness plans if necessary; however, no evacuations are being called for St. Tammany Parish at this time. For emergency updates call, 985-809-2300.

In St. John Parish, Public Works is preparing pumps stations and parish drainage systems for heavy rainfall and preparing for possible power outages this weekend. The Utilities Department is also checking water and wastewater systems and making preparations for back-up systems should that be deemed necessary.

Residents are asked to make necessary preparations at home and secure all loose objects in anticipation of power outages, heavy rainfall, and possible street flooding this weekend. Residents with debris curbside are encouraged to bring vegetative debris to the Parish incinerator located on Airport Road in Reserve.