Alexandria, La. (Aug. 28, 2021) — Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall spent the day Saturday meeting with employees and visiting with residents as they made their final preparations for Hurricane Ida which is predicted to pass through or near the Alexandria area overnight Sunday and Monday morning.
Forecasts from the National Weather Service continue to indicate a potential landfall south of Baton Rouge, with the storm expected to be a major Category 4 storm with winds near 130 mph at arrival. As of Saturday afternoon, the projected storm path takes the center of the storm east of Alexandria, but the track is subject to change and all of Rapides Parish is within the storm track cone. Rapides Parish is currently under a tropical storm warning.
“Hurricane Ida continues to strengthen and is expected to stay on track to pass just to the east of Alexandria overnight Sunday into Monday. Our employees have been working all day today to finalize our preparations, and we hope our residents have been doing the same,” said Hall. “This is a significant storm. They are projecting it will be a Category 4 storm at landfall. We can expect at least tropical storm winds in the 50-65 mph range as well as heavy rain as the storm passes. And we need to keep in mind the large size of the storm. It’s easy to focus on the track on the weather maps, but that just shows where the center is. The wind and rain reach out as far as 100 miles or more from that center, and we need to be prepared to see weather conditions start deteriorating Sunday afternoon as the storm approaches.”
Tree trimmers and line construction crews began arriving Saturday to aid in cleanup efforts and power restoration after the storm passes. City workers also continued to clear drains and pick up tree debris ahead of the storm. Officials ask residents to refrain from placing any additional green waste, furniture or debris at the curb as it could clog storm drains.
Local hotels are at capacity as residents from south Louisiana have evacuated ahead of the storm. Anyone needing shelter information should call 211 for locations and to make arrangements.
As part of basic preparations, Alexandria residents should secure loose items that could be blown in the wind, have working flashlights, ensure cell phone batteries are charged and have a way to monitor weather conditions during the storm. Also, officials recommend people in low-lying, flood-prone areas keep fueled up vehicles on high ground accessible to an evacuation route should flooding occur.
Alexandria residents may report power outages online through the AlexConnects app. To report downed wires, poles, and other similar issues residents should call the Electric Distribution Department at (318) 473-1301.