Jefferson Parish prepares for severe storm threat

LAFITTE, LA (WVUE) - With the threat of tropical storm Alberto, Jefferson Parish officials say they are storm ready.

"I don't think we're going to have much of a problem but if we do, we'll be ready," said Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner.

Kerner says their heavy equipment is on standby and so are their workers. They're prepared with close to 500, big sandbags in the event of high tides. Plus, they have several portable pumps, courtesy Jefferson Parish, in case of heavy rains. Those are in place at Goose Bayou and at Oak Street, by the levee.

"You fight the tide, so you do that with the sandbags. Then, if it rains for a couple days or a couple hours straight, you have to have the portable pumps because then you have to pump the water out. The tide goes over the sandbags and the pumps don't work anyway," Kerner explained.

"We have a standard operating procedure but I've never seen a standard operating storm," said Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni.

Yenni says they are ready for whatever comes their way.

Already, workers have cleared out 6,000 catch basins, over 300 miles of drainage canals and more than a thousand miles of drain lines over the past several months.

Yenni says when it comes to pumps, they're working at 99-percent capacity.

"We want streets to flood, we don't want homes to flood. We spent over $1 billion on the drainage system since 1995 in Jefferson Parish and three brand new pump stations just came online," Yenni explained.

Those stations include the pump to the river, the new airport pump station and the Saint Peters Ditch station.

What's more, Yenni says crews are on call and will be cleaning out catch basins throughout the storm.

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