'Please, stay home,' Broome, others advise staying in as brutal cold snap engulfs Louisiana
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome urged East Baton Rouge Parish residents to "please, stay home" as an arctic cold front pushed temperatures toward the teens and left many of the region's key thoroughfares coated in ice.
"Stay off the roads if at all possible," Broome said in an interview Tuesday morning on WBRZ's 2uneIn. "We don't want anyone to get injured and we certainly don't want people to succumb to the arctic blast of cold weather."
The Louisiana Department of Transportation shuttered much of the interstate highway system due to ice and urged people to stay in if they could and to drive safely if they had to venture out. Many surface streets were largely passable because ground temperatures kept Monday night rains from freezing, but bridges iced over quickly as readings fell through the 20s overnight.
Broome said elevated sections of Siegen Lane and the Central Throughway were closed Tuesday morning.
"The city is prepared to respond to our roadways and our other public works needs, but my message is please, stay home," Broome said.
In her 2une In interview, Broome said the city's library system had kept branches open to serve as warming centers as a "last resort" for people. She noted that shelters at St. Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army were also not at capacity.
The city-parish canceled garbage pickup for Tuesday. Municipal offices and state offices were closed, too, for many workers. School districts across the state called off classes, too.
The closures essentially extended most people's three-day weekend. Monday was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and Broome said Tuesday's weather — and Wednesday's because the weather is expected to be colder still — would give people a chance to follow his example.
"We should put into practical application the principles and values of Dr. King on a regular basis and one of them is to love your neighbor. watch out for your neighbor. go check on your neighbor, especially our elderly citizens," she said. "It's our responsibility as a community to reach out and offer a response to our neighbors."
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