Beauregard under mandatory evacuation order

Pamela Sleezer

For the first time in recent history, Beauregard Parish officials have issued a mandatory evacuation order for residents, as Hurricane Delta eyes a landfall near southwest Louisiana as early as Friday afternoon

The order came from the Beauregard Parish Unified Command Group, which consists of leaders throughout the parish including DeRidder Mayor Misty Clanton, Sheriff Mark Herford, Merryville Mayor Sheila Smith, Police Jury President Mike Harper and Parish Administrator Bryan McReynolds, and School Board Superintendent Timothy Cooley. 

Sheriff Herford said the decision to issue the mandatory evacuation order was a unanimous decision agreed upon by the entire group. 

“It was definitely something we all agreed was wise and needed to be done. Legally, we know that we cannot force anyone from their home if they wish to remain, but we need the community to take this storm seriously and be prepared if they do choose to remain,” Herford told the American Press. 

Herford said the reason behind the strong order was the current state of the parish’s infrastructure and the large amount of properties still damaged from Hurricane Laura’s devastation. 

“There are already weakened structures all throughout our area, and on top of that we have trees that have been weakened, but have not yet fallen. The winds from this storm could bring those trees, or just the tree tops down even so there is potential for more damage still, as well as flooding,” Herford stated. 

Ahead of Delta’s arrival, Herford and other local leaders said they are spending the next 24 hours preparing their offices to meet the needs of the community immediately after the storm hits. While many local resources took a hit from Hurricane Laura, Herford said he remains confident that the parish stands ready to respond without delay. 

“I can say that the sheriff’s office is in great shape. Because Laura was so recent, it is fresh on our minds that we are actually better prepared and ready to jump back into that battle-ready position. We have some significant challenges still to tackle, but I am confident that we as a parish are going to come out of this ok,” he stated. 

A parish-wide dawn to dusk curfew will be put in place for Beauregard beginning Friday morninguntil further notice, and residents are advised to remain off of roadways as weather conditions deteriorate. 

In DeRidder, street and utility crews announced Thursday afternoon that they are on standby, and police officials reported an increase in patrols as they begin working alongside Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development officials to assist with traffic flow. 

Residents who remain in the area are reminded that as wind speeds reach 40 miles per hour, emergency vehicles including police and ambulance vehicles will not be able to respond to emergencies until conditions improve. This could potentially leave residents without access to emergency services for up to 72 hours.Fallen trees

Rick Hickman

life

On Campus: SW La. students recognized for achievements

Local News

Is Tornado Alley shifting eastward? La. residents say it is

Local News

Weeklong heat wave loosens grip slightly on US Southwest but forecasters still urge caution

Local News

Impact of carbon capture project on Chicot Aquifer questioned

Business

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business

Business

Aypa Power plans $440M solar farm in rural section of Jeff Davis, Calcasieu parishes

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column: Elections major session issue

Local News

Israel bombs UN-run school in Gaza, a day after strike on school killed 33

Crime

Hunter Biden’s daughter Naomi testifies about her father

Local News

PHOTO GALLERY: Calcasieu Kennel Club Dog Show

Local News

Police Jury considering I-10 beautification project

Crime

6/7: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list

life

New restaurant summer kick-off event to feature music, games

life

Coushatta Pow Wow: Annual Kinder event offers chance to experience Native American culture

life

Lake Charles Community Band concert to present tribute to Grammy winners

Local News

Port Wonder Progress: Target date for opening is mid-September

life

Fort Johnson security guard helps save neighbor’s home

Business

‘Streamlined, flexible, transparent’ ITEP process is in the works

Crime

Widow of Beau Biden tells jurors in Hunter Biden’s gun trial that she threw firearm in a trash can

McNeese Sports

Wade talks about roster

Local News

Bicyclist fatally struck near Broad Street

life

Area property owners encouraged to submit storm damage online

Local News

Only way to go is up: Kennedy says Cowgirls headed in right direction

Crime

6/6: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff announces arrest list