A hurricane watch has been issued for Ascension, Livingston, Tangipahoa and St. James parishes for the next 48 hours as Tropical Storm Sally nears the Louisiana coast.
Meteorologist Kevin Gilmore said that Sally’s track currently shows an impact in areas along and east of I-55. Heading east toward the Mississippi coastline, the potential impact increases.
He added that while Baton Rouge is not currently under any watches, other parishes further and further east have higher rainfall totals.
Hours after Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency, Ascension Parish President Clint Cointment signed a declaration that also placed Ascension Parish in a state of emergency.
The gate at Marvin Braud Pumping Station will be ordered closed at 7 p.m. Sunday, Cointment said. The pumping station will begin drawing down water in area waterways later that evening.
Department of Public Works crews have been dispatched to replace sandbags in different locations in the parish. Officials also urged residents to clear their drainage ditches and culverts.
The National Weather service anticipates peak wind speeds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 35 mph in Livingston. A storm surge of up to 2 feet is also possible.
The worst of the weather is expected to begin Monday evening.
In Tangipahoa, the prediction is closer to 25-35 mph wind speeds, with gusts of 45 mph possible. There is also a potential for life-threatening storm surge of 3-5 feet.
Wind speeds could range between 10-20 mph in both Ascension parish and St. James Parish, and no storm surge is predicted for either.
Peak rainfall amounts are predicted to fall between an additional 2-4 inches in Livingston, 3-6 inches in Tangipahoa, 1-3 inches in Ascension and 2-4 inches in St. James.
A tropical storm watch has also been issued for St. Helena and Tangipahoa parishes.