Winter Storm to Impact Lafayette
Feb 12, 2021, 14:26 PM by Claire Regan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 12, 2021
WINTER STORM TO IMPACT LAFAYETTE
Lafayette, LA – The potential for severe winter weather beginning this weekend will affect some Lafayette Consolidated Government (LCG) services. On Monday, February 15, 2021, all non-essential LCG offices and services will be closed including City-Parish Hall. Normal operations will resume Wednesday, February 17, 2021 following the Mardi Gras holiday on Tuesday.
Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) officials have been monitoring the storm and are taking extra precautions to keep electric and water systems running during the expected bitter cold temperatures. “Due to the expected freeze and increased electric demand, power plant staff is making preparations to run the local generation units beginning Sunday afternoon/evening through Tuesday,” said LUS Engineering and Power Supply Manager Jeff Stewart. He added, “Engineering staff is assessing the expected increases in electric and water demand, running contingency studies, and will offer support to the operations staff before, during and after the weather event.”
Temperatures are expected to dip into the upper teens overnight Monday into Tuesday morning. LUS expects an increase in issues related to frozen and ruptured water lines. LUS Water Operations Manager Craig Gautreaux said his team is prepared, “Water distribution and meter services will be working together to be ready for an influx of calls to assist in water shut off at homes. Our plants are ready for any increased production.”
LUS is also making plans to handle an expected increase in customer service calls related to the storm. “We have a phone team on stand-by to assist our dispatch if there is an influx of call. We would then activate our call center. We have teams proactively monitoring LUS systems to make sure everything is maintaining normal operations,” Customer and Support Services Manager Alison Alleman explained. If LUS customers experience an issue with water or electric service they are urged to call (337) 291-5700.
Republic Services Garbage Collection
Due to the inclement weather conditions forecasted for Monday, Republic Services will be closed. Collection will be moved to the following day(s) as follows:
- Monday – No Service
- Tuesday – Monday customers serviced
- Wednesday – Tuesday customers serviced
- Thursday – Wednesday customers serviced
- Friday – Thursday customers serviced
- Saturday – Friday customers serviced
Assistance for the Homeless
The Acadiana Regional Coalition on Homelessness and Housing (ARCH) is working with partner agencies like Outreach Center to let those who are currently unsheltered know that they will be enacting their Freeze Plan which is now in effect. ARCH’s Freeze Plan is set to provide sheltering options during temperatures below 36º F, below 40º F with precipitation, or during inclement weather events. If anyone is unsheltered and needs a shelter resource or if anyone knows someone who needs a shelter resource, should call 232-HELP/211 and they will be referred to ARCH’s Hotel Shelter Program which will find the best resource for their situation.
ARCH’s Freeze Plan is largely funded by the public. If anyone would like to contribute to the ARCH Freeze Fund, they can visit bit.ly/freezefund or contact ARCH directly at (337) 967-0995.
Atmos Energy Safety Tips for Natural Gas Customers
Atmos Energy is also preparing for the winter weather and staging its employees across the system.
They offer these safety tips for Natural Gas Customers:
- Never use an oven or a gas stovetop to heat your home.
- Protect natural gas meters. Natural gas meters are weather-proof; however, to ensure that the meter keeps working smoothly, remove snow and ice from natural gas meters with a broom or brush. Never kick or chip snow and ice away with a hard object.
- Safely remove snow from vents for dryers and other natural gas equipment. Blocked vents for dryers and other gas appliances can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide gas.
- Minimize the risk of frozen pipes. Leave cabinet doors open and close all doors and windows to keep heat inside.
- If you think you smell gas, act fast! Leave the area immediately and from a safe distance call 911 and the Atmos Energy emergency number, 866.322.8667: https://www.atmosenergy.com/safety/recognizing-leak
Don’t Forget About Your Pets
The Lafayette Animal Shelter and Care Center (LASCC) is asking that pet families keep their animals protected from the harsh conditions that are expected over the next few days. LASCC offers these tips:
- Bring pets inside. Put them in a laundry room or bathroom if they aren’t house trained and don’t have a kennel.
- Adequate shelter is mandatory by law. Shelter must have three sides, a roof, and a solid floor. Bedding MUST be provided in cold temps. Straw, hay, wood shavings, and blankets are all sufficient types of bedding and must be DRY.
- Cats are attracted to the warmth of cars, so be sure to always tap on the hood to alert any sleeping animals that would be injured when the car starts.
- If you see something, say something. To report an animal left out in the cold without proper shelter and/or bedding please call the animal shelter during business hours (M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) at (337) 291-5644. After hours dial 911 to notify law enforcement.
Connect Via 311
LCG’s 311 hotline and website could be useful tools to have during the severe winter weather. You can call 311 24 hours a day to get connected to LUS and LUS Fiber to report outages or issues. You can also visit the 311 website to report issues to animal control, Lafayette Police, drainage issues, and road damage. Visit 311lafayette.services to learn more. The site is also mobile compatible so you can easily navigate it using your mobile or smart device.