Alexandria, La. (Aug. 27, 2021) — Alexandria Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Ida which is predicted to pass through or near the Alexandria area overnight Sunday and Monday morning.
Forecasts from the National Weather Service indicate a potential landfall south of Baton Rouge, with the storm expected to be a major Category 3 storm with winds in excess of 111 mph at arrival. As of Friday afternoon, the projected storm path takes the center of the storm east of Alexandria, but the track is subject to change and all of central Louisiana is within the storm track cone.
“On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Laura we are preparing for another major hurricane, and we hope our residents are doing the same,” said Hall. “Laura passed to our west, exposing Alexandria to the strongest winds and heaviest rains. We are hopeful Ida will pass to our east so that Alexandria misses the greatest intensity of the storm. At a minimum we expect to see hurricane-force wind gusts and at least 4 inches of rain locally.”
Tree trimmers and line construction crews are on standby to aid in cleanup efforts and power restoration after the storm passes, while employees are checking generators and drainage pumps and ensuring drinking water supplies are plentiful.
To help residents prepare, the City has free self-serve sandbag locations throughout town. Locations include Bringhurst Field, Cheatham Park, Frank O. Hunter Park and the MPAT Park next to the Rapides Parish 911 center in Martin Park. Elderly and special needs residents may pick up free pre-filled sandbags from the city’s Consolidated Compound at 2021 Industrial Park Road from until 6 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There is a limit of 10 bags per car and workers will be available to load the sandbags for residents in a drive-thru setting.
City workers continue 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.
As part of basic preparations, 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.