Schools announce Monday closures, officials prepare ahead of Hurricane Ida

Published 3:12 pm Friday, August 27, 2021

NATCHEZ — Concordia Parish, Natchez Adams, Adams County Christian, and Cathedral school buildings and Holy Family Early Learning Center will be closed Monday due to the likelihood of dangerous weather conditions as Hurricane Ida travels towards the gulf.

Cathedral sent notice to parents and students Friday afternoon that they will be doing distance learning in place of in-person instruction.

As Ida struck Cuba Friday afternoon with maximum winds of 75 mph, the National Hurricane Center warned that the intensifying storm could travel across warm gulf waters and hit Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday, the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

City of Natchez and Adams County public buildings will also be closed Monday, officials said during a weather briefing in the Adams County Safe Room Friday.

“We don’t want people to panic, but we do want them to be prepared,” Adams County Emergency Management Director Robert Bradford said.

The briefing allowed officials of the Miss-Lou area to share and coordinate emergency protocols ahead of the anticipated storm.

A major concern of theirs is strong wind and possible tornadoes from the hurricane that could result in dangerous travel conditions in the middle of the night and power loss from downed trees and power lines.

“The worst time to have a storm hit is during the night while people are sleeping,” Bradford said. “If you hear a siren go off this weekend, do not think it is a hoax or a drill. It’s possible that tornadoes can develop very quickly in this storm.”

Bradford recommends the public stock up on enough food to last three or more days and make sure they have access to battery powered radio or a cell phone in case of power outages.

Those with oxygen machines or medications that need to be kept cold should plan ahead for power outages — have a generator ready and a family member or friend to check on them.

The Adams County Safe Room will be open as a shelter starting at 8 p.m. Sunday for those with an emergent need for shelter or electricity.

Officials also warned that 911 should only be used for life-threatening emergencies during the storm. A tree on a house, for example, is an issue for an insurance agent and not for police unless a person is trapped inside or is in imminent danger, said emergency management volunteer and former Natchez Police Captain Tom McGehee.

Calls concerning non-life-threatening situations may have a delayed response time dependent upon the weather conditions and call volume at the time and will be handled on a case-by-case basis, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten added.

The public can also help keep the call volume down by avoiding all unnecessary travel during and immediately after the storm, he said.

Adams County residents should report storm damages at adamscountyms.net by clicking “report damages.” They will be able to include a description and photo of the damage in order to receive possible aid.

People in low lying areas can self-fill sandbags at Foster Mound Volunteer Fire Department on 228 Foster Mound Road, the Adams County maintenance shop on 35 Majorca Road, or the City of Natchez Public Works Department at 233 ½ Devereaux Drive. Bags will be available, but you must bring your own shovel.

Sandbags are also available to residents of Concordia Parish to pick up at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility on LA 15, said Timothy Vanier, the  OEP Director for Concordia Parish.

The schedule for pick up is 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday; 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday; 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

There is a limit of 10 sandbags per household. Assistance will be available for elderly and handicapped residents of Concordia Parish.er outages.

Those with oxygen machines or medications that need to be kept cold should plan ahead for power outages — have a generator ready and a family member or friend to check on them.

The Adams County Safe Room will be open as a shelter starting at 8 p.m. Sunday for those with an emergent need for shelter or electricity.

Officials also warned that 911 should only be used for life-threatening emergencies during the storm. A tree on a house, for example, is an issue for an insurance agent and not for police unless a person is trapped inside or is in imminent danger, said emergency management volunteer and former Natchez Police Captain Tom McGehee.

Calls concerning non-life-threatening situations may have a delayed response time dependent upon the weather conditions and call volume at the time and will be handled on a case-by-case basis, Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten added.

The public can also help keep the call volume down by avoiding all unnecessary travel during and immediately after the storm, he said.

Adams County residents should report storm damages at adamscountyms.net by clicking “report damages.” They will be able to include a description and photo of the damage in order to receive possible aid.

Adams County residents can self-fill sandbags at Foster Mound Volunteer Fire Department on 228 Foster Mound Road, the Adams County maintenance shop on 35 Majorca Road, or the Adams County Barn at 1208 Liberty Road. City residents can also fill sandbags at the Natchez Public Works Department at 233 ½ Devereaux Drive between 8 a.m. and noon Saturday only. Bags will be available, but you must bring your own shovel.

Sandbags are also available to residents of Concordia Parish to pick up at the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility on LA 15, said Timothy Vanier, the OEP Director for Concordia Parish.

The schedule for pick up is 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday; 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday; 8 a.m. to noon and 3 to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

There is a limit of 10 sandbags per household. Assistance will be available for elderly and handicapped residents of Concordia Parish.