Bagging sand at the City of Franklin's Public Works warehouse on Iberia Street.
Parish braces for Barry
Storm surge, heavy rains and hurricane conditions are possible across the north-central Gulf Coast over the next few days.
A tropical storm warning is now in effect for the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City. A storm surge warning is now in effect for the Louisiana coast from the mouth of the Atchafalaya River to Shell Beach.
Parish President David Hanagriff plans to issue a voluntary evacuation recommendation at noon for areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway.
Parish offices will be closed at noon Friday, as well as Franklin and Baldwin. The parish assessor's office will be closed Friday.
At 10 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm Barry was located near latitude 27.8 North, longitude 88.7 West. Barry is moving toward the west near 5 mph and this motion is expected to continue today. A turn toward the west-northwest is expected tonight, followed by a turn toward the northwest on Friday. On the forecast track the center of Barry will be near the central or southeastern coast of Louisiana Friday night or Saturday.
Reports from Air Force Reserve and NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Additional strengthening is expected during the next day or two, and Barry could become a hurricane late Friday or early Saturday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles mainly to the southeast of the center.
Locally, St. Mary Parish residents of the unincorporated areas can obtain sandbags at the Four Corners Fire Department, the Hanson Canal area parish barn, the parish barn in Bayou Vista and beneath the bridge in Amelia.
Sandbags will be available for Franklin residents at the Public Works building on Iberia Street. Residents must bring their own shovel. Baldwin is providing the elderly with already bagged sand; others should bring their own shovel and bags will be provided.
The St. Mary Levee District has announced that the Phillip Luke flood protection structure on the Franklin Canal will be closed on Friday morning. The canal will then be pumped down to a favorable level for added storage.