City, parish prepare for storm’s impact

Published 12:13 pm Friday, July 12, 2019

Washington Parish President Richard “Ned” Thomas announced a state of emergency for Washington Parish on Thursday afternoon.

The state of emergency was declared in a formal proclamation released Thursday, as Washington Parish prepared to face the impact of Tropical Storm Barry this weekend.

In the proclamation, Thomas noted that the threats include tropical storm-force winds and heavy rainfall along rivers and creeks that can lead to the flooding of homes and property, as well as road and bridge closures.

“A state of emergency is hereby declared to exist parish-wide as a result of flash flooding, the effects of which continue to threaten the lives and property of the citizens of the parish,” Thomas stated, in the proclamation.

There is still a slight possibility that the storm may develop into a hurricane, as it prepares to make landfall. Weather forecasters projected Friday afternoon that the storm would likely touch land in Louisiana either late Friday evening or early Saturday morning.

Bogalusa city officials said Friday that the city was expected to get “10 to 15 inches of rain” through Monday, and that flash flooding was possible.

The city’s drainage systems are able to handle two inches of water per hour, and anything more will lead to a normal situation where the water backs up.

“As expected, over the weekend your ditches will fill up and you will get water in your yard,” Bogalusa mayor Wendy Perrette said. “If you still have standing water by next Tuesday, call the public works department at 985-732-6213 and we will come out to look into what the problem is.”

Sandbags will also be available from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Locations for filling bags are the Avenue B Sports Complex, the north end of Austin Street by Youthbuild, and the Main Street Ball Park. Empty sand bags will be available at the Central Fire Department at 200 Arkansas Ave., and can then be taken to any of the other three locations for self-filling. There is a limit of 10 bags per citizen.

Citizens must bring their own shovels and a photo ID for verification of residency inside the city limits. Those who live outside the city limits can get sandbags at parish locations — 17380 Bill Booty Road or Yacc Road, west of 7 Mile Road.

There are two American Red Cross shelters open in Washington Parish. They are at Bogalusa High School, located at 100 M.J. Israel Drive; and Franklinton High School, located at 1 Demon Circle.

These shelters are shelters of last resort for citizens who do not feel safe in their homes due to the storm’s potential impacts. No pets are allowed.

Those who plan to use the shelters are asked to bring essential items, including pillows, blankets, medicine, baby items, sleeping bags, cards and games, and snacks.

Officials urge citizens to stay vigilant and pay attention to local media as the storm develops and passes through the area. Updates will be available on the Daily News’ website at, and on the newspaper’s Facebook page.