Baton Rouge, La. – February 14, 2021 — According to the National Weather Service (NWS) New Orleans, East Baton Rouge Parish is now under a Winter Storm Warning with a Hard Freeze Watch beginning Monday night. The latest forecast calls for 1/4” - 1/2” of ice accumulation tonight through Monday evening, which could make roadways hazardous. Our area could begin to see winter precipitation as early midnight tonight and continuing through the day tomorrow. A widespread hard freeze is expected Monday night through Tuesday morning with lows in the teens and a minimum wind chill of 10 degrees. The hard freeze could cause traffic to become even more hazardous as the precipitation on the ground is forecasted to freeze Tuesday morning.
Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome advises all residents to be prepared for these winter conditions. “Now is the time to stay calm, stay aware, and stay safe. Freezing precipitation and ice accumulation could very well make road conditions unsafe as soon as tonight. Please stay off the roads beginning tonight through Tuesday morning. I want everyone to prepare themselves today and be where they need to be by this evening.”
“Take this time to check your disaster supply kits, ensuring you include proper winter weather supplies. Make all necessary preparations for winter weather and remember to include your family, pets, pipes and plants in your plans. These colder temperatures will increase the use of gas appliances; if these appliances are not working properly it could lead to carbon monoxide production. Test your carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in proper working condition.”
“I also want everyone to practice fire safety during any cold weather. Test your smoke detectors. Make sure space heaters are plugged directly into a wall outlet and positioned at least three feet away from anything flammable like bedding or walls. Before using a fire place, make sure it was inspected in the past year and has a metal or glass shield placed in front of it. If you need to use a generator, place it outdoors away from open window or doors. I encourage everyone to find a warm and safe place to stay. Cold weather shelters are available with the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul. Remember to practice COVID-19 safety: wear a mask, social distance and wash your hands.”
“Winter weather storms are uncommon in East Baton Rouge Parish, but we have experienced them in our recent past and we know what to do. Three years ago during freeze events in December 2017 and January 2018, there were nearly 50 motor vehicle accidents and 22 fires with 9 deaths. It is very important to practice road & fire safety to avoid any tragedies. Together, let’s all make our personal preparations to help prevent emergencies and keep East Baton Rouge Parish Red Stick Ready.”
The East Baton Rouge Parish Public Works Department is working with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development to keep our primary roadways open for emergency and essential travel. A combination of salt & sand trucks have been deployed and barricades have been pre-positioned. However, the freezing precipitation and accumulation of ice could still cause the closure of bridges and elevated roadways. Downed power lines and power outages are also possible.
Republic Services has suspended garbage and recyclable collections for Monday February 15 in the City of Baton Rouge, East Baton Rouge Parish, and the City of Central. Tuesday collections are still being determined. Services will resume on the next regularly scheduled day.
City-Parish buildings will be closed Monday. Buildings were already scheduled to be closed Tuesday for the Mardi Gras holiday.
Helpful Phone Numbers:
- East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency: 911
- Baton Rouge City Police: 225-389-3831
- EBR Sheriff's Office: 225-389-5000
- Baton Rouge Fire Department: 225-354-1400
- Capital Area United Way: 211
- DEMCO: 225-261-1160
- Entergy: 800-9OUTAGE (968-8243)
- LA Department of Transportation & Development: 511
- Mayor's Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness: 225-389-2100
- Public Works for downed trees in roadways: 311
- Baker Fire Department: 225-775-3712
- Central Fire Department: 225-261-2000
- Chaneyville Fire Department: 225-654-9571
- District 6 Fire Department: 225-355-3110
- East Side Fire Department: 225-272-7779
- St. George Fire Department: 225-454-6550
- Zachary Fire Department: 225-654-0026
The East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (MOHSEP), in coordination with Mayor Broome’s Office, are continuously monitoring the latest forecast. First responders, public works crews and emergency stakeholders are all making winter weather preparations to protect the safety of East Baton Rouge Parish. Residents are urged to use the following Red Stick Ready winter weather tips when preparing their homes, family and pets for the upcoming cold temperatures:
Red Stick Ready Winter Weather Tips:
- Check your family disaster supply kits to ensure it is prepared for the winter.
- Use caution when operating heaters and fireplaces.
- Communicate with your family and neighbors.
- Dress in layers to keep yourself warm.
- Bring your pets inside when possible.
- Protect, cover or wrap your pipes.
- Protect your plants as necessary.
- Ensure proper ventilation for fuel-burning equipment.
- Refuel heating sources outside.
- Use caution when traveling.
- Test your smoke and CO detectors, replacing any that may be more than ten years old.
For more information please visit Redstickready.com, follow us on Twitter @redstickready, like our Red Stick Ready page on Facebook, download the RedStick app for smartphones or contact the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness at (225) 389-2100.