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Delta expected to bring rain, strong wind

Hurricane Delta was expected to hit Louisiana sometime between this Friday and Saturday, and local officials urged Washington Parish residents to take caution and prepare.

Thursday afternoon, officials with the Washington Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said that the storm could bring heavy wind and rain through the weekend.

The parish was under a tropical storm watch at the time. In Friday’s forecast, there was a potential for 20 to 30 mph winds, with gusts up to 39 to 57 mph, officials said.

“Generally, there is the potential for two to four inches of rain, with the most occurring Friday through Friday night, with higher amounts possible,” officials said on the agency’s Facebook page. “Localized flooding rain and tornadoes from Friday through Saturday morning can not be ruled out.”

The National Weather Service in New Orleans suggested that residents should “plan for hazardous wind of equivalent tropical storm force.”

Potential impacts include:

  • Damage to porches, awnings, carports, sheds, and unanchored mobile homes. Unsecured lightweight objects blown about.
    • Many large tree limbs broken off. A few trees snapped or uprooted, but with greater numbers in places where trees are shallow rooted. Some fences and roadway signs blown over.
    • A few roads impassable from debris, particularly within urban or heavily wooded places. Hazardous driving conditions on bridges and other elevated roadways.
    • Scattered power and communications outages.

There is also the potential for localized flooding from heavy rain, NWS officials said.

The NWS forecast for Bogalusa included the following, as of Thursday afternoon:

  • Friday during the day — A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 11 a.m. High near 83. Southeast wind 5 to 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
  • Friday during the night — Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 4 a.m., then showers likely. Low around 71. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent.
  • Saturday during the day — A 50 percent chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. South wind around 10 mph.
  • Saturday during the night — A 20 percent chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
  • Sunday during the day — A 20 percent chance of showers after 1 p.m. Mostly sunny, with a high near 84. Southwest wind around 5 mph.
  • Sunday during the night — Partly cloudy, with a low around 68. Southwest wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

Parish residents had already begun to prepare by Thursday. Sandbag locations were open throughout the day at multiple locations throughout the parish, but they were not scheduled to be open any other days.

Washington Parish President Richard N. “Ned” Thomas Jr. signed a state of emergency proclamation on Wednesday, in anticipation of the storm. Later that evening, President Donald Trump approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request for a federal emergency declaration for multiple Louisiana parishes, including Washington, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa.