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LAKE CHARLES – The situation in a number of communities in the eastern areas of the Diocese of Lake Charles is very serious. Today’s 4 p.m. mandatory evacuation deadline for the Town of Lake Arthur was pushed back 24 hours until Tuesday at 4 p.m., according to authorities, though that it is subject to change.

According to KPLC-TV, the National Weather Service has indicated that the Mermentau River will crest at 11.5 feet on Thursday. Even though the crest was moved back a day, the height would still mean the water would overtop the town’s levees. It is predicted that the area south of Seventh Street will be inundated.

Sister Mary Vianney Walsh, RSM, Director of Catholic Charities of Southwest Louisiana, is meeting with the support agencies in the region including United Ways and Red Cross in an effort to establish the role that Catholic Charities and the Diocese will take as this crisis unfolds.

Father Jay Alexius, the pastor of Our Lady of the Lake in Lake Arthur, will take up temporary residence at Our Lady Help of Christians in Jennings to be near the people and site of the parish. Monsignor Ronald Groth, retired pastor of Our Lady of the Lake, has also safely evacuated.

Bishop Glen John Provost has asked that all should “Please keep the priests and all the faithful in this area in your prayers. As we continue to receive more information, we will pass it along to you in a timely fashion.”

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