Severe weather is on its way to St. Mary Parish, schools closing Wednesday (updated)

The St. Mary Parish school system announced Tuesday evening that school is being canceled Wednesday.

The system's website announced the closing today and hazardous weather conditions.

All St. Mary Parish schools are closed today.

Citing his concern for hazardous road conditions that might affect bus transportation, Donald Aguillard, superintendent, did not rule out the possibility that the closures could be extended through Thursday. The decision woudl be made late Wednesday afternoon after weather conditions are reevaluated and will be reported here, on Twitter, via email, and on the St. Mary Parish Schools website.

Central Catholic High School and neighboring Holy Cross also will be closed, as per the diocesan policy that they follow the direction of the parish school system because they use parish bus transportation, Central Catholic Principal Vic Bonnaffee said this evening.

As long as the public school system remains closed, Bonnaffee said the two parochial schools would remain out of school.

Duval Arthur, St. Mary Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness director, said tonight that the decision was made after National Weather Service officials told Aguillard and himself that St. Mary and Iberia parishes would be the hardest hit by the system moving through the area and could experience 16 to 17 inches of rain through Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service reported that as of 6:54 p.m. Tuesday 3 to 4 inches of rain had fallen over South Louisiana including St. Mary Parish. Another 2 to 3 inches is possible through midnight and may creating ponding on roads and minor flooding in low-lying areas.

Two “rounds” of severe weather are projected for the Morgan City area with first the round expected to arrive Wednesday morning, according to Scott Erickson of the National Weather Service.

Another severe weather threat should get to the eastern part of St. Mary Parish by late Wednesday, Erickson said.

The area is expected to get two to three inches of rainfall during the next couple days with as much as six inches of rain possible. The area will also be under a flash flood watch through Thursday due to the heavy rainfall expected, Erickson said.

Scattered showers are expected to continue Wednesday morning with more widespread rain arriving Wednesday night into Thursday morning. The highest flood threat will be from Wednesday night through Thursday morning, Erickson said.

Winds may reach up to 60 mph to 70 mph during the severe weather threats, in the “worst case scenario,” he said.

The rain and severe weather threat should end by Thursday afternoon, Erickson said.

To keep up with St. Mary Parish schools, interested residents also may text text "Follow stmaryschools" to 40404.

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