Local parishes, residents prep for possible ice and snow

Local parishes, residents prep for possible ice and snow

MANDEVILLE, LA (WVUE) - Local parish governments say they're prepared for the possibility of winter-like weather.

St. Tammany Parish officials have already decided to close the government buildings and parish schools ahead of the threat. Other school districts, like Bogalusa and St. John the Baptist, have also canceled class.

Leaders with St. Tammany Parish and New Orleans tell FOX 8 their public works departments are ready to go, especially on elevated roadways, in case weather worsens driving conditions.

Those with the Causeway Commission echoed similar plans, with de-icer available for the bridge's highest points.

New Orleans Department of Homeland Security leaders say the city enacted its freeze plan, Wednesday, which opened up four shelters to those who need a warm place to stay. They will remain open. Already, officials the shelters have served 400 people.

Officials say it's also important for residents to check on their neighbors, especially the elderly and those with medical needs.

"Any residents or neighbors you may have that are particularly vulnerable, just like in a heat event, just like we talked about during hurricane season, we want you to check on those folks, as well, during any winter weather event," said New Orleans Director of Homeland Security Aaron Miller.

Miller adds he doesn't anticipate the city will see much of the winter-like weather, but says they're prepared, just the same.

Those in the path of the worst of what's expected say they're ready for it.

"I'm going to start a fire, I have a few beers with the wife, chill out and relax. Hopefully, saints win, got a good season going. Other than that, looking for some snow, I'd like it. Haven't seen it in about 10 years, personally. I'm from Pennsylvania, so it be nice comforting thing for me. I can call my mom and tell her I had a white Christmas,  hopefully," said North Shore Resident Michael Scott.

Nurse Donna Millet says her job requires her to drive across the bridge.

"I have warm clothes and I take care of myself. I drive safely. I listen to the warnings and if they close the causeway, I can either take Slidell get there or I can take 55 to get there," Millet explained.

Millet says she also made sure she got the cold weather gear she needs.

"Yesterday, I almost slipped outside of a nursing home where I visit, so I bought some really good shoes and I've also checked my tires and I'm full of gas. I'm on call for the weekend so I have to make sure that I can get to the south shore safely," she said.

Other locals say they're not concerned at all with the weather.

"Usually what happens is it doesn't come as far as Mandeville. It kind of stops in North Louisiana or it hits the ground and melts and our day's just a usual day," said Patty Smith.