Hurricane Isaac damage sporadic, mostly light in western St. Mary
Western parts of St. Mary Parish were mostly spared damage by Hurricane Isaac Wednesday, according to reports from the St. Mary Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Office. Isaac has now been downgraded to tropical storm status.
Reports of downed trees and roof damage were mostly confined to the eastern portions of the parish.
“We’re just so thankful that we survived it the way we did because it could have been much, much worse,” SMHSEP Director Duval Arthur Jr., told the Baton Rouge Advocate.
Arthur said the eye of the storm passed within 20 miles of Morgan City and left downed power lines across about a third of the parish.
He added that wind gusts were between 40-45 mph in Franklin and 50-60 mph in Morgan City. Minor coastal flooding at Burns and Cypremort points is possible this afternoon during high tide, according to the National Weather Service. Tides may range up to 3 feet above normal.
Cleco reported that power outages increased through the night as Isaac churned through the state. As of 6:55 a.m., there were 4,927 Cleco outages in St. Mary Parish
Cleco said damage assessments were to begin today at daybreak and cautioned residents to watch for downed power lines. To report a downed line, call Cleco at 1-800-622-6537 or 911.
Arthur said the Berwick Civic Center at 300 Patti Drive is open as a shelter for any one with structural damages or no power. Anyone seeking shelter there should bring their own food, beverages and bedding.
The emergency preparedness office is also asking for residential damage reports to be called in to 828-4100, ext. 135.
Franklin Police Chief Sabria McGuire said officers patrolled throughout the storm.
She said there was mostly wind-related events and downed power lines. McGuire said there was no flooding that she was aware of, but there were some cases of roofs damaged by the high winds.
Closing the Franklin Canal meant that rainwater had to be pumped from the Pecan Acres and lower Willow Street drainage areas, and McGuire said that process worked out “extremely well.”
City departments worked around the clock, and were beginning the process of cleaning up debris in the aftermath, a process that will take a couple of days, the chief said.
McGuire said Cleco was on the scene and when gusts of wind lowered to safer levels were busy restoring power where possible. She said a few areas are still dark this morning, but Cleco crews are working on getting them restored.
Baldwin Mayor Wayne Breaux said there were a few tree limbs knocked down but he was not aware yet of any significant structural damage in the town.
Crews will have some cleanup work ahead of them, the mayor said, but he said drainage in the area functioned well.
A close eye is still being kept on Bayou Choupique and the surrounding area just in case of a small tidal influx.
Breaux said Cleco crews have restored power to all affected areas of Baldwin except for one small section near Martin Luther King Street and Branch Street, but expected that to be restored this morning.