DOTD takes steps to prevent flooding, prepares evacuation transportation in case of emergency

St. Martin Parish

ST. MARTIN PARISH, La. (KLFY) As Nicholas passes through Acadiana, officials say they’re doing everything they can to control flooding.

State police say it doesn’t take a lot of water for a vehicle to be swept away by water.

That’s why the Department of Transportation and Development is taking preventative measures to stop flooding before it happens in areas like the I-10 Henderson exit, where DOTD says heavy rainfall often causes problems.

“During any type of emergency response event, we don’t wait until the actual event to get started. We try to carry out quite a few proactive measures to help mitigate some things you typically see during an emergency event,” Deidra Druilhet with the DOTD said.

Druilhet says since early Tuesday morning, crews have been at the Henderson exit pumping water not to control flooding, but to entirely prevent it.

“What they’re doing is they’re being proactive and getting ahead of these heavy rains we are anticipating in the area. So they’ve already started pumping water to prevent flooding in that area to try and get ahead of it a little bit to mitigate that situation,” she added.

Some Acadiana officials predicted Nicholas to bring 15 inches of rain in areas like St. Landry parish.

So far, Nicholas has spared local parishes, but DOTD says in case of severe flooding, they have evacuation vehicles ready, staged near the Lafayette airport.

“It could be used for the transportation of goods and people,” Druilhet told News Ten.

She says right now DOTD is monitoring local roadways and states routes, ready to put out high water signs or barricades in areas likely to flood.

“If you don’t have to travel, try not to get on the roadways. If you do, just make sure you give yourself plenty enough time to travel, and also make sure you’re abiding by a safe speed limit. Remember, the speed limits that are posted, those are for ideal weather conditions. So try to reduce your speed, look out for the cars around you, and again, just be safe out there,” she said.

If you live in an area that often floods and want to know if roads near you are flooded or closed, DOTD says you can check the status of local roads at www.511la.org.

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