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Saturday, July 13, 2019 – Tropical Storm Barry Makes LandfallFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEUpdate #7 Hurricane Barry makes landfall and quickly downsized to a Tropical Storm. 30-65 mph wind gusts are forecasted for our area through the night. Potential rainfall continues to be the greatest concern, which remains 10-15” with isolated areas possibly receiving greater than 25” of rainfall through Sunday. Saturday is expected to have the heaviest rainfall amounts. St. James Parish is under a Flash Flood Watch through Sunday morning. Residents are urged to stay vigilant and continue to monitor local weather stations and Parish media outlets for updated information.BLIND RIVER GAUGE:1.86 ft., at present.1.77 ft., 6:00 a.m. today*For reference, the 2016 backwater event crested at 4.7 ft. When levels reach 3ft., low-lying areas begin to see water. *SANDBAGGING: Self-service sandbagging locations remain open throughout the Parish. Sand and bags will be available for residents’ use. Please bring a shovel for this purpose. The locations are: • Grand Point Fire Station - 32122 Hwy 642 Paulina, LA 70763• Lutcher Senior Center - 2631 Louisiana Ave Lutcher, LA 70071• Training Center on WB - 29126 Health Unit Street Vacherie, LA 70090• Welcome Senior Center - 7140 Park Street St. James, LA 70086• Gramercy Fire Department – 1502 N Airline Ave. Gramercy, LA 70052 (Empty bags are available at the Gramercy Water Treatment Plant 407 Highway 44, Gramercy LA 70052, call the Operator at (225) 869-8580)Any questions regarding sandbagging, debris, tree limb pickup, etc., please contact the Operations Department at (225) 562-2444.EVACUATIONS:St. James Parish has issued a VOLUNTARY evacuation. Residents are urged to avoid unnecessary travel throughout the weekend. There is no curfew in place, currently. For safety reasons, residents should remain in their homes and avoid walking/driving through flooded areas. Driving through flooded streets can cause damage to homes by pushing water into them. GARBAGE COLLECTION:There will be no collection today. Saturday collections will resume as usual on Wednesday. The Parish Transfer Sites (East and West Bank “Dumps”) will remain closed throughout the weekend. SOUTH VACHERIE PUMPING STATIONS:South Vacherie flood gate is closed, and the pumping station is being operated, as needed. SHELTER INFORMATION: Lutcher High has been readied if sheltering is needed, but there is no shelter activated in St. James Parish at this time. OFFICE HOURS: The Office of Emergency Preparedness is on 24-hour operations throughout the weekend. The St. James Parish Welcome Tourist Center will be closed all weekend and will reopen Monday, July 15, 2019. The Lutcher and Vacherie Libraries will be closed today and open for normal business hours on Monday, July 15, 2019. The Recreation Office/Fitness Center will be closed today. TOWNS OF GRAMERCY & LUTCHER:Sand is available at our River Road Water Treatment Plant and at the North Airline Fire Station. Unfilled sandbags are available at the Water Treatment Plant. The WTP operator can be reached at (225)869-8580.The Gramercy Police Department will be issuing fines for passing down flooded streets. St. James Parish officials are monitoring weather conditions and have been in contact with the National Weather Service and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security to receive the latest weather forecasts. The National Guard is onsite in the St. James Parish Emergency Operations Center to assist, as needed. Notifications will be posted as new information is received and as forecast changes. Stay tuned to the St. James Parish website and the St. James Parish Facebook page for the latest releases. Please call 1-800-ENTERGY for information about power outages. Download the free GOHSEP “Get A Game Plan” App for preparation and weather-related information. St. James Parish Government will update at 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily throughout this weather event.