As a precautionary measure, Ascension Parish President Tommy Martinez has declared a State of Emergency for Ascension Parish beginning today, Friday, October 4, 2013 because of the approach of Tropical Storm Karen in the Gulf of Mexico.

President Martinez signed the state of emergency proclamation at 7:55 a.m. this morning and the Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is now designated as the parish point of contact for this event.

“Although the forecasted path of Tropical Storm Karen may marginally affect our parish, all of our parish agencies have been notified,” Martinez said. “And with this proclamation, Ascension Parish has the ability to request state and federal resources if needed.

Ascension Parish Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Rick Webre said his office has continued to be on standby and coordinating with all appropriate agencies locally and statewide.

“Webinars are being conducted twice daily between federal, state and local emergency management agencies, which includes the National Weather Service in Slidell,” Webre said.  “Contingencies are being prepared locally to protect our citizens and infrastructure should this event warrant them.  Residents are being asked to monitor local media throughout the weekend and to take any protective measures that they deem necessary. ”

Webre said parish drainage department pump station crews are on standby through the weekend.

He said sand bags have been filled and stockpiled, and points of distribution will be advertised through the local media if the need arises.