ST. TAMMANY PARISH, LA (WVUE) - With temperatures expected to dip into the mid to low twenties on the Northshore over the weekend, the St. Tammany Parish Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness will open a shelter for those in need. Severe cold weather protocols are also in place. Critical employees have been placed on notice for emergency activation if the weather dictates.
Beginning at 4p.m. residents can shelter in the Giving Hope Retreat Center of the New Orleans Mission located at 31294 Highway 190 in Lacombe. The shelter will remain open until Monday morning, Jan. 9. Citizens should bring bedding, comfort items, prescription medication, and any personal hygiene items. Citizens are reminded that household pets, alcohol and firearms are not allowed. The Northshore Hotline of the Giving Hope Retreat Center is 985-218-9485.
The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness reminds residents to use care when using portable natural gas, propane or butane heaters for warmth in areas of poor ventilation, as they can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents with elderly individuals in their families to make certain they have a safe and effective way to heat their residences. Furthermore, they are asking residents if they know of at-risk families or neighbors that could fall victim to severe cold weather, to please check on them during the evening and morning hours to confirm their safety.
In addition, Tammany Utilities is asking, not just its customers but all St. Tammany residents, to wrap their pipes and take the necessary precautions to prevent pipes from bursting. The Department of Animal Services warns pet and livestock owners to also take special precautions to safeguard the well-being of animals in their care, including bringing pets indoors and preventing water sources from freezing over for livestock.
Out of an abundance of caution, non-emergency offices of St. Tammany Parish Government will close at 3p.m. on Friday in advance of potential hazardous winter weather.