St. John Parish: 11:30am update

ST. JOHN THE BAPTIST PARISH - Tropical Storm Karen continues to weaken as dry air and wind shear break through the system. The track forecast has shifted slightly west, weakening the impacts for most of coastal Louisiana. Storm surge levels for St. John remain at 1 to 3 feet on Lake Pontchartrain and 1 to 3 inches of rainfall are expected. Wind speeds of 20-30 mph remain a threat to the area.

The height of rainfall and TS Karen should arrive between tonight and early Sunday morning. Although the storm is dissipating, residents should continue to prepare for downed trees and tree limbs and possible power outages. With water levels on Lake Pontchartrain above normal, water is covering Hwy 51 at Ruddock and street flooding could occur with heavy rainfall within a short period of time. The St. John Public Works Department has placed generators at critical pump stations in preparation for power outages. The Utilities Department has also made interim protection measures for water and wastewater systems.

St. John the Baptist Parish Emergency Operations is partially activated and accepting phone calls at 985-652-2222 until 5:00 p.m. today. Should residents need assistance overnight, please dial 9-1-1.

A voluntary evacuation remains in effect for areas North of I-10 to Manchac. As a precaution, residents in low-lying areas are encouraged to move vehicles to higher ground.

Residents are also asked to assist in removing loose debris and trash in catch basins to assist in preventing blockage in parish drainage systems.