Alexandria, La. (July 30, 2019) — A severe thunderstorm that dumped more than 4.5 inches of rain Tuesday morning caused widespread street flooding as well as a power outage that affected nearly half of the city’s utility customers.
As torrential rainfall fell in the city, major roads including Jackson Street Extension and portions of Texas Avenue and Lee Street became impassable. Several neighborhoods, including Martin Park and Charles Park, were impacted by rising waters as motorists were stranded and homes and businesses sustained damage.
“My heart goes out to everyone who has been impacted by this severe storm,” said Alexandria Mayor Jeff Hall after visiting with residents affected by flooding in their homes. “My first concern is the safety of our citizens, and I am so grateful to all of our first responders who stepped up to rescue those in need.” The city’s first responders rescued several people from homes and cars on Spencer Street, Curtis Drive, Ellis Street, Mil Mar Boulevard, Nelson Street, Navaho Trail and Windermere Boulevard.
“Our focus now turns to doing all we can to help people affected by flood damage get the tools and resources they need to make repairs and rebuild,” Hall said. To help jumpstart the recovery process, the City of Alexandria will waive permit fees and have an expedited permit process from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday at the Central Louisiana Business Incubator, located at 1501 Wimbledon Blvd.
“Having damage to your home or business is devastating,” Hall said. “I want to make sure we do everything we can to help people affected by today’s flooding get the permits they need so they can make repairs and get their lives back in order.” The Business Incubator site is just for those who sustained flood damage. All other permit requests will be handled at the Utility Customer Service Office.
Regarding the power outage Tuesday morning, Alexandria Utility Systems Director Michael Marcotte said a lightning strike to a main power line near Holy Savior Menard Central High School triggered the interruption in service for approximately 13,000-15,000 customers. Repairs were made quickly to the system, with most customers having their power restored in about an hour.
“I appreciate the efforts of the Alexandria Utility Services workers to get the power restored so quickly,” Hall said. “And I also want to thank all of the city employees who were out in the rain today to keep drains clear and do all they could to minimize the flooding and ensure the safety of our residents. They do an incredible job, and I am so very grateful.”
By 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon water had subsided in most areas, and the flash flood warning for Alexandria had expired. Most roads and streets in the city are now passable, but Alexandria police cautions drivers to be careful and avoid driving through any water. APD also warns people to stop at barricades which are put in place for the safety of drivers and area residents.
Any resident who is still without power should contact the electric department at 318-473-1301 or report the issue through the AlexConnects smartphone app. Residents are also asked to use care when doing any storm cleanup to avoid placing debris on the side of the road in places where it could block storm drains.
Photo Caption: City of Alexandria Sanitation Department worker Alex Lanhart clears debris from a storm drain at the intersection of Monroe Street and Louisiana Avenue following heavy rains Tuesday morning.
Cynthia Jardon or Jim Smilie
The information provided and maintained on this website is believed to be accurate and reliable. However, the City of Alexandria shall not be held liable for improper or incorrect use of any data provided herein.