LAPLACE, LA (WVUE) - St. John Parish President Natalie Robottom and other parish and state officials briefed media about the work in progress to begin the cleanup and restoration of services after tornadoes ripped through parts of LaPlace.
This is the second time in four years the parish has been faced with a weather-related disaster, Robottom said.
Robottom said nearly 200 structures in the parish were damaged by the tornadoes.
Robottom said residents should exercise caution when driving over the next few days.
She said several traffic lights are out and debris litters many roads.
Parish officials are asking residents to conserve water over the next few days until power to lift stations is fully restored. Residents are asked to avoid washing dishes or clothes and avoid any other non-essential use of water.
A shelter is up and running at Watkins Elementary School. Residents who need help can call a help line at 985-652-2222.
Pets are welcome at the shelter and animal control will be on site to help with any pet-related needs.
Classes at all St. John the Baptist Parish Public Schools are set to resume on Monday, Feb. 29, according to the School District.
St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre warned anyone thinking of coming to the parish to loot and take advantage of vulnerable residents authorities would be watching for them.
He went on to note that some residents may take matters into their own hands and defend their homes and property before law enforcement officials arrive.