UPDATE: 5 p.m./Aug. 29: New Iberia City Council members said power outages have been an issue, but they've seen and heard of very little damage as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday. "The only issues on my end have been power outages," Councilwoman Therese Segura said.
UPDATE: 4:16 p.m./Aug. 29: About 3,5,95 people in Iberia Parish and 6,535 people in St. Mary Parish are without power by 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. In New Iberia, power outages were reported around Belmont Road and Jane Street, along Sugar Mill Road to the Bayou Teche, from Loreauville Road to Main Street, from St. Peter Street almost to Admiral Doyle Drive, down east Old Spanish Trail from Emile Verret Road toward Jeanerette and along Belle Place Olivier Road between Louisiana 182 and Sugar Mill Road.
UPDATE: 2:47 p.m./Aug. 29: The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office will enforce a parishwide curfew from 6 p.m today to 6 a.m. Thursday.
UPDATE: 2:25 p.m./Aug. 29: The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office reports a tree is down in the road in the Chitimacha Trail Roadway near Penn Road near Charenton. SMPSO spokesman Traci Landry also discounted reports of a disturbance at the jail in Centerville. The spokesman said there was no incident and the jail is secure.
UPDATE: 2 p.m./Aug. 29: Loreauville still with power and no signs of storm damage or flooding, Mayor Al Broussard reports. He also said the village has received 1 inch of rain so far and gusts of high wind.
UPDATE: 1:45 p.m./Aug. 29: 3,611 people are without power at this time in Iberia Parish, including large numbers in New Iberia. Areas north and south of Main and St. Peter streets were without electricity with expected restore times between 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Areas along Loreauville Road were expected to be restored around 3 p.m. Areas along Louisiana 182 past Belle Place Olivier Road and around Jane Street and Sugar Mill Road also are without power. Cleco has not released any additional updates.
UPDATE: 1:51 p.m./Aug. 29: No road closures, storm damage or signs of flooding in Delcambre as of 1:45 p.m., Mayour Carol Broussard reported. Two-thirds of the town is without power.
UPDATE: 12:46 p.m./Aug. 29: No signs of flooding in the Franklin area at this time, according to Franklin Mayor Raymond Harris. Power outages have been reported in the city's Eastwood subdivision.
UPDATE: 11:58 a.m./Aug. 29: St. Martin Parish will enforce a curfew beginning at 8 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Thursday.
UPDATE: 11:56 a.m./Aug. 29: Franklin City Hall will remain closed until weather conditions improve. Franklin's residents can contact the city's command center for storm information. Call 828-3631, 828-6334, 828-6327, 828-3473. Franklin curfew follows St. Mary Parish curfew from 6 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Thursday.
UPDATE: 11:15 a.m./Aug. 29: As of 10:50 a.m., 250 Cleco customers in Iberia Parish were without power and 2,661 customers in St. Mary Parish were without power.
Mayor Hilda Curry said with wind gusts up to 75 mph expected overnight, there are concerns about power loss because of fallen trees and branches. She said Public Works employees were out Wednesday morning moving a few trees that had fallen across city roads, but once reach between 40 and 50 mph, she said they won't send anyone out until winds calm and conditions are safe again.
For emergencies with sewage or trees, residents can call 369-2300 and press 8 to reach a dispatcher at the Waste Water Department.
Iberia Parish Fire District No. 1 Chief Guy Bonin said the district has had a few calls, but hasn't been tremendously busy.
He said firefighters went out to reassure one resident this morning and responded to a structure fire in Jeanerette just after 3 a.m. today.
Bonin said 22 firefighters from District 1, Jeanerette Fire Department, BOM, Grand Marais and Fire District 11 were on site for the fire, which was contained to the attic of the building. He said there were no injuries.
"We're just standing by to do what we need to do," he said.
UPDATE: 11:11 a.m./Aug. 29: Public and private schools in Iberia, St. Mary and St. Martin parishes have announced that schools will be closed on Thursday.
UPDATE: 11 a.m./Aug. 29: Hurricane Isaac is expected to cause power failures throughout Iberia Parish, but rains should begin to subside by midnight, according to the parish’s director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness/911.
Parish officials held a 10 a.m. conference call with the National Weather Service’s Lake Charles office, where they learned rains in the area are starting later than expected today, said Prescott Marshall, director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness/911.
Marshall said dry air has held off rains, but showers should intensify over the course of the day. The parish can expect to get 10 inches of rain from Isaac, he said.
“The winds and the rain should be tapering off after about 1 a.m.,” Marshall said.
He said the parish’s biggest concern is the winds. Sustained winds are expected at about 50 mph today with gusts up to 75 mph.
“That presents the risk of losing power,” Marshall said.
Also the Parish President Romo Romero instituted a curfew starting at 8 p.m. tonight until 6 a.m. Thursday.
UPDATE: 10:50 a.m./Aug. 29: The St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office will enforce a curfew from 6 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Thursday, according to a prepared statement from Public Information Officer Traci Landry. Tides will be coming in between 4 and 7 p.m. with water levels expected to be 2-4 feet above normal.
UPDATE: 10:30 a.m./Aug. 29: Isaac is barely holding on to hurricane strength as of 10 am, and is expected to weaken to a tropical storm later this morning or afternoon as it moves northwest across south central Louisiana. By Thursday morning, it is expected to be a minimal tropical storm in central Louisiana.
Here are the local weather elements expected:
1. Rainfall: The heaviest rain totals of 6-10+ inches will extend from Alexandria to Opelousas, down to Lafayette and Morgan City eastward. The timing of this heavy rain will this afternoon for Lafayette, New Iberia, St Martinville, to Morgan City, and then extend into the Alexandria to Opelousas and Marksville area starting late in the afternoon, but mostly through the overnight hours into Thursday morning. Southeast Texas may end up seeing very little rain, the best shot my be in east Texas for Jasper and Newton on Thursday. Southwest Louisiana's best chance for rain will be either late this afternoon, or during the day on Thursday.
2. Tornadoes: Depending on where the rainbands develop, that is where a very isolated tornado threat will be over the next 2 days.
3. Wind gusts: Southeast Texas will see 30-40 mph today, decreasing to 20-40 mph on Thursday. Southwest Louisiana will see 30-50 mph today, decreasing to 20-40 mph Thursday. Central Louisiana will see 40-60 mph this afternoon and tonight, decreasing to 20-40 mph on Thursday. South central Louisiana will see 50-75 mph today, decreasing to 20-40 mph Thursday.
4. Tides: Sabine Pass and Cameron will run 1-2 ft below normal today, 1-2 ft above normal on Thursday. Vermilion Bay to Morgan City will run 2-4 ft below normal today, and when the winds shift to the southwest later tonight, the tides will become 2-4 ft above normal.
UPDATE: 9:39 a.m./Aug. 29: St. Mary Parish Emergency Preparedness Director Duval Arthur said one parish shelter has been open in Berwick. Fourteen residents have taken shelter so far at the Berwick Civic Complex. In Franklin, sustained winds 20-30 mph and no damage reported.
UPDATE: 9:37 a.m./Aug. 29: Loreauville Mayor Al Broussard said no flooding has been reported yet ... sustained winds are 25-30 mph.
UPDATE: 9:25 a.m./Aug. 29: The Iberia Parish Government has extended its curfew to 8 p.m. today through 6 a.m. Thursday. The Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office will enforce the curfew.
UPDATE: 9:10 a.m./Aug. 29: Outages in Iberia Parish were staying low this morning until a jump close to 9 a.m.
At 8:30 a.m., Mayor Hilda Curry said after speaking with Steven Segura, Cleco customer service representative for Iberia, St. Martin and St. Mary Parishes, that outages in the city are few and scattered and that the company was addressing them as soon as they occurred.
At the time, outages across Iberia Parish were at 21 customers.
By 9 a.m., 1,437 customers were without power in Iberia.
St. Mary's number more than doubled from 1,158 to 2,415 customers without power.
Cleco is expected to give another update later this morning.
UPDATE: 9 a.m./Aug. 29: St. Martin Parish School Board announced this morning that it will close schools on Thursday because of the slow-moving Hurricane Isaac. Also, Trinity Catholic School in St. Martinville will be closed on Thursday.
UPDATE: 8 a.m./Aug. 29: Cleco is reporting 37 customers without power in Iberia Parish and 435 in St. Mary Parish.
In a prepared statement, Cleco said employees and contractors ready to restore power as soon as weather permits. If conditions are unsafe, crews cannot work.
The current outages are lower in St. Mary than when Cleco sent out an update at 5 a.m. when the parish had 6,302 customers in the dark. Iberia Parish had slightly less with 24.
UPDATE: 6:20 a.m./Aug. 29:
From the National Weather Service: Hurricane Isaac took a little jog to the west overnight before making its second landfall near Port Fourchon. The new forecast track looks very similar to the path of Hurricane Gustav in 2008. This will result in slightly stronger winds forecast over south central Louisiana, and the timing for some storm surge could happen as early a tonight from Vermilion Bay to Morgan City.
Here are the local weather highlights:
1. Wind gusts: For south central Louisiana, 50-75 mph today, dropping to 20-40 mph on Thursday. For southwest Louisiana, 30-50 mph today, dropping to 20-40 mph on Thursday. For central Louisiana, 40-65 mph this afternoon, dropping to 30-45 mph on Thursday. For southeast Texas, 30-45 mph today, dropping to 20-40 mph Thursday.
2. Tides: For Vermilion Bay down to Morgan City, 2-4 feet above normal when the winds shift to the south later tonight. For Sabine Pass and Cameron, 1-2 feet above normal when the winds shift to the south late tonight or Thursday.
3. Tornadoes: An isolated tornado is possible through Thursday, especially in south central and central Louisiana.
4. Rainfall: 6-12 inches are possible in south central and central Louisiana through Thursday. 3-6 inches are possible or southwest Louisiana, and 2 inches or less is expected in southeast Texas.