Gov. Edwards tours worst-damaged areas

Gov. Edwards tours worst-damaged areas in south Louisiana
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards and his team toured many of the most flood-damaged areas Wednesday, including locations in Livingston and Ascension parishes.

As the governor flew overhead in a Blackhawk helicopter, some homes below remained barely visible as they remained under several feet of water.

One of the stops was in Gonzales at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center, where many families are taking shelter after fleeing their homes. Like he has time and time again this past week, Edwards met one-on-one with those sheltering.

"Nobody wants to be here, and everybody is being somewhat inconvenienced and wants to go home, but to a person everyone is thankful for having this available to them and they believe they are being cared for as well as is possible under the circumstances," Edwards said.

Edwards and Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser also praised the many volunteers both at the shelter and those that helped out during the rescue operations.

"I'm very very happy with the way they're being cared for. Their volunteers, their medical staff, the people here working with the children, it couldn't be better," Edwards said.

"I'm very impressed and see the passion in the volunteers' eyes, that made so much of the rescues, and just a great cooperative effort," Nungesser said.

The group also toured a hall at the expo center set aside specifically for animals and pets. Everything from horses to dogs to chickens is housed there.

Later, the group visited the Hunt Correctional Center and the women's prison in St. Gabriel. The women's prison was evacuated Tuesday. Department of Correction Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc said that while water had not gotten into the cell blocks, there were at least six inches of water in the administrative buildings.

"We're regrouping for renovations. We're already getting started to get water out of there with the tiger dams. We're going to pump it dry and try to start work on getting it online. With Hunt, we're on standby, we're ready to evacuate if we have to," LeBlanc said.

At Hunt, sandbags are being loaded and taken by air to the Alligator Bayou, which is currently overflowing and putting some neighborhoods at risk.

For Nungesser, the sites of recent days are all too familiar, reminding him of weather disasters in Plaquemines Parish.

"It does bring back some memories, but to see that parish come back after three hurricanes, we'll do it, every parish will come back stronger and better than ever," Nungesser said.

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