BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency for Louisiana ahead of severe tropical weather expected to significantly impact the state, he announced Wednesday during a press conference.
“This is going to be a Louisiana event with coastal flooding and heavy rainfall potentially impacting every part of the state. No one should take this storm lightly," Gov. Edwards said in a series of tweets Wednesday.
“We expect multiple parishes to declare states of emergency, and we stand ready to assist our local partners with all available resources. My office is in constant communication with FEMA and we will continue to provide updates as necessary,” he continued.
A broad area of low pressure, Potential Tropical Cyclone #2, is a near certainty to become a tropical depression Wednesday or Thursday, with a Louisiana landfall as a Category 1 hurricane likely late Friday or Saturday.
Gov. Edwards urged people to take the storm seriously. Between 10 to 15 inches of rain are expected to fall in southeast Louisiana in a 24-hour period starting Friday. Though officials are still unsure of the track or the strength of the storm, Edwards said he is confident there will be widespread heavy rainfall and coastal flooding.
The slow-moving storm is expected to only travel at 3 to 5 miles per hour. We could be seeing significant problems with some of the rain bands. Rain from this storm is expected to last into next week as the storm tracks north through central Louisiana.
Edwards said the ongoing Mississippi River flood fight, which is in day 257, will exacerbate many of the issues associated with this storm. This could be the case if the storm hits the southeast portion of the state. Many tracks and models suggest that it will.
Officials are expecting a “considerable amount” of over-topping in Plaquemines Parish.
The National Guard is moving high-water vehicles into place along the Mississippi River in southeast Louisiana and setting up command posts along coastal Louisiana, especially in Plaquemines Parish.
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) is monitoring 163 floodgates and anticipates some of those will be closed.
Officials said the temporary Bayou Chene flood barge is still in place. The barge will assist five parishes with water levels and drainage, including Assumption, Iberville, Lower St. Martin, St. Mary and Terrebone parishes.
Edwards says he plans to make a statewide emergency declaration, and is communicating with federal officials.
No evacuations have been issued yet.