Monroe officials preparing for expected severe weather in coming days
City and parish officials in northeast Louisiana are preparing for expected severe weather this week.
Monroe public works director Tom Janway says they have already been monitoring the severe weather that's making its way across the area and trying to work ahead.
"We're checking our storm water pump stations to ensure 100% operability,” Janway says. “We're monitoring the elevations of both the Ouachita River and the Bayou Lafourche, because both of those affect drainage inside the city of Monroe."
Janway says every pump station in the city is working fine, and they are making sure all of their tools are ready to handle the influx of rain. "We're making preparations as much as we can to ensure that all of our equipment is fueled and everything is repaired, chainsaws, etc."
Crews have already started clearing stuffed ditches and drains throughout the city too. Janway is also asking citizens to help them in their efforts to keep the rainwater flowing smoothly.
"Help assist us in making sure that their ditches are clean, their yards are clean. If we get an extreme amount of rain, then the debris floats into the ditches and which in turn, floats into pump stations and cause problems with our pump stations' operations."
As the heavy rain continues throughout the week, Janway says it's going to be important everyone works together and does their part. “Especially if there is substation drainage in the area, the inlets to the catch basins need to be kept open,” Janway says.
“We have a lot of those around town. We do not have enough personnel where we can maintain every catch basin around town to ensure that it's unstopped. That's where residents come in."
Janway says as of now, they don't have any plans to open any sandbagging locations. They will, however, continue to monitor the severe weather and will open locations if they are needed later this week.