Participants of the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office’s work release program were busy this week preparing sandbags for residents as they make their final preparations ahead of Tropical Storm Barry, which is projected to hit Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane early Saturday morning. 

The inmates pre-filled an estimated 5,000 or more sandbags, LPSO spokeswoman Lori Steele said. All told, more than 60,000 sandbags have been handed out through both the parish and its municipalities in the last four days, with many volunteers assisting in the effort. 

Every little bit helps. 

Barry is heading toward the Louisiana coast at 6 miles per hour, placing landfall some time between 2-4 a.m. Saturday morning if speeds remain consistent.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says the storm is still expected to reach hurricane force by the time it makes landfall. Current sustained winds are 65 miles per hour, with winds in the 75-85 range being reported by oil rigs off shore.

Barry's track shifted west just slightly, but not enough to change the rainfall prediction for Livingston Parish - 15"-20" of rain are still expected over the next 36-48 hours, with flash flooding being the major danger to Livingston Parish.

Local officials expect rain and heavy winds to begin sometime after 6 p.m. Friday evening, and they've asked motorists to stay off the roads if possible. This is not a curfew, they said, simply a precaution.

Drainage and drainage blocks continue to be a concern for local officials, who ask that if you see trash in your culverts or ditches, that you pick it up. If you have larger debris, call one of the numbers below.

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