Local parishes, Causeway Commission prepare for winter-like weather

Local parishes, Causeway Commission prepare for winter-like weather
Updated: Dec. 6, 2017 at 8:38 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - With the chance of winter-like weather on the way, transportation and emergency preparedness officials are working to make sure they're ready to keep drivers safe.

"The weather reports don't look that severe but, what if?" said St. Tammany's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Dexter Accardo.

Accardo said his office is ready for anything. It has a plan in place for the threat of winter-like weather, and Accardo said municipalities, schools, emergency personnel, even local businesses have already been notified.

"We always have that dialogue going on to keep them abreast of everything should something change where we have to shut things down," Accardo explained.

He said that includes the public works department, where crews are on standby.

"We're ready if we have to go put sand out on any of the elevated roadways, should we need to do that," said Accardo.

"From what we're understanding, right now, the worst of the weather will probably be on the North Shore, not the bridge, but nevertheless, it's always better to be prepared," said New Orleans Causeway Commission Carlton Dufrechou.

Dufrechou said their road crews have also been put on notice in case the weather makes for poor driving conditions on the Causeway.

"We've got our anti-ice equipment, fluids already checked, the equipment's been refreshed, gone through," said Dufrechou. "The places we have the most frequent icing would be on the two high navigation humps - the drawbridge, the 16-mile mark and 8-mile mark, toward the south end of the bridge."

While Dufrechou said these winter-like weather spurts are few and far between, he said, "It's something we prepare for every year."

Accardo advises those on the North Shore to get what they need before Friday night, just in case the streets do get bad. He said the fewer people on the road, the better for drivers and emergency personnel.

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