DENHAM SPRINGS – The southern portion of Livingston Parish felt some effect of an early morning tornado and other areas endured flooding when a powerful low-pressure system barreled through the state early Saturday.
Rainfall totals included 3.76 inches in French Settlement and 3.25 inches in the Town of Livingston.
French Settlement bore the brunt of the damage, which stemmed from effects of a tornado that surfaced around the southeast part of Baton Rouge along Industriplex Drive and Stumberg Lane, near the new Woman’s Hospital.
A collapsed tree blocked the road on South Goodtime Road in French Settlement, while residents at the La. 444-La. 63 intersection reported downed trees and power lines. Workers from the parish DPW spent the morning and early afternoon clearing limbs and debris from the roadway.
Another tree at the 444/63 intersection landed atop a parked car, but nobody was in the vehicle at the time, French Settlement Mayor Toni Guitrau said.
Eden Church Road in Denham Springs and Dunn Road in Walker endured flooding for several hours, but the rapid movement of the storm prevented what could have been a dire situation, according to Sam Digirolamo, Livingston Parish Director of Public Works and Permits.
“We had some flooding, but nothing more than usual,” Digirolamo said. “Considering how bad it looked early in the morning, it looks like the good Lord watched over us.”
DEMCO requested assistance from the parish for help on a collapsed powerline at the intersection of 4-H Club Road and Bond Road, south of Denham Springs, he said.
Some areas within the City of Denham Springs endured mild residential flooding, said Mayor Gerard Landry, who drove through the city early Saturday to monitor drainage issues.
“We had localized stuff, and you can’t have a significant amount of rain and not expect some water backup,” he said. “But I was pretty pleased that it was all we got.”
Landry walked around the Denham Springs High School campus with School Board member Buddy Mincey to ensure water drained properly.
“Everything flowed properly except for one area inside the courtyard, which was kind of slow,” Landry said. “A teacher there for ACT testing told me she was panicking because it came close to seeping inside.”
"We have a better system in place now than we had in the past and we’ll continue working on it,” he said. “The two things we get the most complaints about are drainage and streets … it’s an ongoing project.”