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Ike Already Causing Power Outages; Residents Asked to Limit Water Usage
St. Charles Parish (September 12, 2008 - Noon)- Tropical Storm force winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Ike are causing power outages across St. Charles Parish, according to Entergy.

Several feeder lines have been damaged, and the outages affect slightly more customers on the West Bank, Entergy spokesperson Doug Rhodes said. There are confirmed outages in Des Allemands and Ama.

Rhodes said Entergy expects to have power restored to pre-Friday morning levels by this evening. Before this latest storm threat, less than 100 customers remained without power from Hurricane Gustav.

The power outages have forced the Department of Wastewater to ask all residents to conserve water usage until power can be restored. Some sewer lift stations have lost power, which is putting pressue on the system.

Winds at the St. Charles Parish Courthouse today reached gusts of 69 mph, with average sustained winds of 18 mph. Weather effects from Ike are expected to lessen by Saturday night, but the threat of flooding will remain all day. As Ike pushes onshore in Texas, winds will shift and come from the south, pushing water into the Barataria Basin.

The St. Charles Parish Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness continues to ask that residents of Bayou Gauche and Des Allemands remain vigilant in paying attention to water levels surrounding the Sunset Drainage District Levees. Due to the potential of rising water, isolated evacuations in areas south of Highway 90 may be necessary if conditions exist for an imminent flood. Residents in the Willowdale and Willowridge areas of Luling could see street flooding similar to that of Tropical Storm Frances in 1998.

Sandbags are available at Badeaux Lane in Bayou Gauche.

The St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the vandalism of flood control water tubes deployed in the Des Allemands area along Bayou Des Allemands. Evidence indicates that approximately $20,000 in U.S. Flood Control Tubes rented by St. Charles Parish to protect Des Allemands residents from flooding have been intentionally damaged. The damage was most likely inflicted by the use of knives.

The St. Charles Parish Public Works Department has already repaired the areas using a combination of visqueen and sand.

Additionally, the Sheriff's Office is asking that local traffic on FRIDAY be restricted to necessary travel only because of dangerous tropical storm force winds.

Storm debris pickup has been suspended today because of high winds, Parish President V.J. St. Pierre announced this morning.

St. Charles Parish residents are urged to stay tuned to Cable Channel 6, http://www.stcharlesgov.net/ and 1370 AM for further updates.


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