Alexandria, La. (June 5, 2020) — Workers with the City of Alexandria are actively preparing for the possibility of high winds and heavy rain this weekend from Tropical Storm Cristobal, which is currently forecast to move through the Alexandria area Sunday and Monday.
National Weather Service forecasts indicate Alexandria could get a minimum of 2-5 inches of rain from the storm and wind gusts of around 40 miles per hour. Alexandria residents concerned about flooding may get free sandbags from self-service locations from noon until 8 p.m. Friday and from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday at the Johnny Downs Sports Complex, Bringhurst Field, Cheatham Park and the Rapides Parish 911 in Martin Park. Elderly and infirm residents may pickup free pre-filled sandbags from the city’s Consolidated Compound at 2021 Industrial Park Road from 3-8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday. Workers will be available to load the sandbags for residents in a drive-thru setting.
In addition to sandbags, city workers have been working to clear storm drains and pick up tree debris ahead of the storm. City water pumps have been inspected and utility crews are on alert to respond to any power outages or utility service interruptions.
“Hurricane season just started Monday and it looks like we will get our first storm this weekend,” said Mayor Jeffrey W. Hall. “At this time, the forecast calls for only a tropical storm, not a full hurricane. Still, it is essential that residents make the proper preparations now by securing loose items around houses that could be blown in the wind, making sure you have working flashlights, making sure cell phone batteries are charged and that you have a way to monitor weather conditions so you are ready to react if an emergency arises.”
Utility System Director Michael Marcotte reminds residents that shelter procedures will be very different due to COVID-19 concerns and social distancing requirements. “Sheltering this season will not look like it has in the past,” Marcotte said. “As part of their preparations, residents who live in vulnerable areas, and particularly those in mobile homes, should consider making arrangements for sheltering through a friend or relative as part of their personal plan.”
Marcotte also reminds residents that if power outages due occur as a result of the storm, customers may report outages online through the AlexConnects app or by calling (318) 473-1301. Downed wires, poles, and other equipment should be reported to the Electric Distribution Department at (318) 473-1301. Residents are also reminded to avoid downed lines as they may still be energized. Residents are also encouraged to exercise caution while driving as crews and equipment are clearing debris and making repairs along many roads throughout the city.
The Mayor’s Office will provide updates on the Alexandria City Government Facebook page as well as the city website at www.cityofalexandriala.com.