Officials urging residents to remain off the roads

Parts of the interstate system into and out of the Capital Region remain closed this morning in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

Interstate 10 is closed in both directions between the Prairieville and Gramercy exits. State highway officials say they are working to clear the lanes from large trees that fell during the storm but have not provided an estimate of when they hope to reopen.

In the city of Baton Rouge, I-110 is shut down between Plank Road and the state capitol.

Additionally, 74 roads are closed throughout East Baton Rouge, according to Mayor Sharon Weston Broome, who spoke to WAFB-TV shortly before 10 a.m.

More than 50 major trees are blocking roadways and 12 major power lines are down, adding to the challenges.

Though most major arteries throughout the parish are open and appear to be experiencing little congestion, Broome urged residents not to venture out yet to begin cleanup efforts.

“Don’t get out and start touching debris yet,” she says. “Let us go out and assess situations and see what we can cover. There may be downed power lines. It’s not safe yet.”

DOTD is also urging motorists to stay off the road. As of 9 a.m., its work crews were still trying to remove major obstructions from key arteries in Ascension, Livingston and the river parishes.

“We need to keep the roads clear for emergency responders and to keep everybody safe as cleanup begins,” DOTD says in a Facebook post. “Driving conditions are still dangerous as many roads are blocked with debris. We’re working hard to clear them when able.”

Still, many are anxious to begin cleaning up and trying to take care of essential business. All three Benny’s B-Quik locations remained open throughout the storm and had lines forming out the door by mid-morning.

Justin Alford says the gas stations and convenience stores try always to stay open to serve first responders and is waiting to get more gas, which is also in demand.

“People need supplies,” Alford says. “We’re doing our best to get resupplied. We have generators and will stay open.”

For a complete list of road closures go here.