Voluntary evacuations spread as flood waters rise in Ascension
SORRENTO - Ascension Parish residents are preparing for the worst on Monday night as flood water began to creep across major roadways.
Parts of Airline Highway are underwater due to the heavy rains that fell across the area earlier last weekend.
Parish officials are predicting that both sides of Airline Highway will likely be impassable by first light Tuesday morning. The Sorrento area is expected to be severely impacted.
"It has been encouraged by Town Mayor Mike Lambert & and the unified command for residents of Sorrento to prepare to be impacted in the next 6-8 hours," officials said. "A voluntary evacuation is in place for the town of Sorrento."
Sandbagging of the surrounding areas has been underway since Thursday.
"Some people are evacuating, some people don't want to," said Mike Lambert, Sorrento mayor. "Our volunteer fire department is going around now for our special needs people, making sure they are getting out or have a way to get out.”
Officials said another three feet of water could reach residents’ homes.
St. Amant residents, who may have already had water enter their homes, are being asked to evacuate on a voluntary basis.
Water continues to rise in that town with residents heading to and from their homes to collect their wordly possessions in boats.
Hundreds of people from the area are staying in area shelters with that number expected to rise along with the water.
The Lamar-Dixon Expo Center is serving as the primary open shelter for the area, and they are still taking people. They have a dedicated space for evacuees’ pets.
"We have also issued warnings to the residents in the ridge road area. We anticipate this road and surrounding areas to experience a major impact. A voluntary evacuation is also in place for this area."
Pumping operations at the Marvin Braud pumping station have been temporarily suspended to remove debris. Pumping will resume at midnight.
"If you live near low lying areas around Bayou Narcisse, Bayou Francois, New River Canal or Black Bayou – you are at a risk for flooding due to these waterways not being able to drain into their normal channels," officials said Monday night.