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Editor/Consulting Writer

Damaging winds and heavy wind roared into St. Landry Parish early Wednesday morning, causing widespread power outages,knocking down trees and utility poles while spreading several inches of rain that quickly flooded streets and rural roadways.

The parishwide extreme weather event, which advanced a moderate cool front, produced extensive damage throughout nearly all areas of St. Landry, according to parish president Jessie Bellard.

Bellard estimated that by noon Wednesday the parish had been notified of at least 75 trees that were down across St. Landry, with over half of those lying across roadways.

“It’s kind of early since many of the areas are just not getting phone service restored, but from what we know so far, there has been a lot of damage and some of that has happened to homes,” Bellard said.

Bellard said areas around the Town of Washington, the Bristol and Lawtell communities in addition to Opelousas had reported extensive damage.

Initially Bellard said, about 70 percent of the parish experienced electrical issues in the aftermath of the storm. By noon Bellard said the number of those without power had been reduced to about 60 percent.

On La. 10 north of the Town of Washington, several utility poles angled towards the roadway, as utility repair crews blocked traffic and worked to make repairs, Bellard said.

In Opelousas Mayor Julius Alsandor said  by midway Wednesday, all the street flooding that was evident earlier in the city had receded.

However, Alsandor added that downed trees were still blocking roadways inside the city.

“We have crews that have been out working all morning to remove the trees and other debris that are causing problems. I have been in contact with CLECO and they have been working to restore electricity and repair the power lines that were damaged due to the downed trees,” Alsandor said.

A utility crew on La. 182 south of Opelousas near the Judson Walsh Drive exit, worked into the late afternoon repairing several sagging utility poles and removing a large tree that blocked the highway.