plaquemines parish

Plaquemines Parish officials have ordered a mandatory evacuation of the east bank of the parish, in advance of Tropical Storm Isaac.

Additionally, there will be a voluntary evacuation for the south end of Plaquemines Parish, from Ironton to Venice. Belle Chasse Auditorium will be opened at noon on Monday as an emergency shelter.

All Plaquemines Parish schools have been closed until further notice.

BELLE CHASSE — Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser declared a state of emergency early Sunday morning due to the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac, the parish said in a press release.

Parish officials say they are working with the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the Army Corps of Engineers, and other local leaders to prepare for the storm.

Plaquemines Parish officials say they're prepared to use barges to supply fresh water to processing plants in Port Sulphur, Dalcour and Pointe-a-la-Hache if necessary.

The parish gets its water from the Mississippi River, but that source of water is being threatened by the intrusion of salt water from the Gulf of Mexico due to low river levels.

Besides using barges to ship in fresh water, the parish says it may rely on freshwater piped in from neighboring parishes.

Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is upset that the parish wasn't notified before an apparent drill for pilots who spray oil spills dispersants. And he doesn't believe that the planes used in the drill were spraying only water, as he was told.

Parish official P.J. Hahn says fishermen called him June 13, saying low-flying planes sprayed something that turned to foam on the water and made their skin itch or burn.

Hahn says the Coast Guard told him it was a drill by the oil industry's Marine Spill Response Corp and that only water was being sprayed.

Pages