Parish officials prepare for possible emergency with tropical storm

Published 12:41 am Wednesday, June 21, 2017


NATCHEZ — Concordia Parish officials are preparing to handle a potential emergency as a tropical weather system approaches Louisiana.

Police Jury President Whest Shirley signed a state of emergency declaration Tuesday stating “The Parish of Concordia is presently faced with an emergency due to the following: high water level expectations and flooding in low lying areas in Concordia Parish from potential torrential rains from a tropical depression or storm in the Gulf of Mexico.”

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Shirley, however, said this action is purely a “proactive” measure.

“At this time, (there is) nothing to worry about,” Shirley said. “But we’re going to be ready just in case.”

The declaration also states that Shirley has assumed the position of Director of the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness in Marshall Payne Scott’s absence. Scott is currently in the hospital.

Shirley met with the parish’s emergency preparedness committee Tuesday morning to discuss what action would ensue following an emergency.

Shirley said the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has agreed to supply the parish with boats if needed. Shirley also said he spoke with the Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vidalia Police Department.

“This is just about getting the paper work in order and getting the ball rolling,” Shirley said.

While the National Weather Service has forecast approximately 1 to 2 inches of rainfall through Friday morning, Shirley said Homeland Security officials told him the area could experience as much as 6 to 8 inches of rainfall.