BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards is warning that the threat from what is now Tropical Storm Barry is not over yet.
“The main takeaway tonight is that this storm still has a long way to go before it leaves this state. It continues to move too slowly,” Gov. Edwards said during an evening statewide briefing from Baton Rouge.
“Don’t let your guard down thinking the rain is behind us,” the governor warned, urging people to remain vigilant as flash flooding is expected anywhere from New Orleans to Lafayette, “and not just flash flooding, flash flooding to the point where life is threatened.”
“My concern tonight is a lot of people going to bed tonight thinking the worst is behind us, and that’s gonna turn out not to be the case.”
The governor also said that he spoke to President Trump earlier in the evening. “He asked me to tell the people of Louisiana that he said, “Hello, ‘and that he’s pulling for us.”
Earlier Saturday, Gov. Edwards met with the Unified Command Group to continue coordinating the state’s response to Tropical Storm Barry and the ongoing flood fight in Louisiana, which has reached day 260.
“This storm has our attention,” Edwards said. “While most of the rain right now is in the Gulf, we know that it will be coming ashore and impacting a large portion of the state. We are asking that everyone stay vigilant and be safe. Monitor your local media and heed instructions from your local elected officials. The people of Louisiana are resilient, and while the next few days may be challenging, I am confident that we are going to get through this.”
In total, the governor has activated 3,000 members of the Louisiana National Guard, and Louisiana’s Emergency Operations Center is fully activated around the clock to coordinate with federal and local partners in the response to this storm.
IMPORTANT NUMBERS AND WEBSITES
For sheltering information, the public should call 211 or text keyword LASHELTER to 898211 for the most current sheltering information.
For road closures, the public should visit 511la.org or call 511.
For life-threatening emergencies, the public should call 911.
For comprehensive emergency preparedness and response information, visit emergency.la.gov.
STATE AGENCY UPDATES
Louisiana National Guard
• Nearly 3,000 Louisiana National Guard soldiers remain deployed around the state and ready to assist in emergency response situations.
Department of Transportation and Development
• Completed two missions transporting patients from nursing homes to shelters.
• There are currently 172 coach buses, 22 para-transit and 170 school buses available for missions.
• Motorist Assistance Patrol trucks will continue extended 24-hour operations in patrol areas.
Louisiana State Police
• Troopers are deployed throughout the state and in coastal regions patrolling evacuation routes for stalled vehicles and roadway issues.
• Troopers are providing security at shelters across the state.
Louisiana Department of Corrections
• The Department of Corrections has assisted in evacuating 588 inmates from Plaquemines Parish and 216 inmates from St. Mary Parish. The department is now housing these inmates at Louisiana State Penitentiary, Dixon Correctional Institute, and Elayn Hunt Correctional Center.
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
• LDEQ personnel have contacted facilities, radiation licensees and parishes located from Alexandria south and advised them take all necessary steps to move their operations to emergency status.
• All LDEQ Emergency Response Staff and Regional Staff are on standby and are prepared to respond if needed.
Department of Children and Family Services
• As of midnight, July 12, there were 315 citizens in 16 shelters.
• The mega shelter in Alexandria has been prepared to receive state-transported citizens with critical needs, as well as those rescued through search and rescue operations. It has not been designated as a general population shelter.
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
• GOHSEP continues to operate at Level 1 Full Activation, with its EOC staffed around the clock to support the state’s response.
Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
• All pumps that have been requested in Terrebonne, St. Charles, St. Mary, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, and St. John the Baptist Parishes, Grand Isle and the City of Lafitte have been delivered and are in place.
• All gates in the Hurricane Risk Reduction System around New Orleans are closed. The entire system is entirely sealed off for the first time since its construction.
Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs
• Veterans homes across the state remain staffed and in contact with parish emergency operations centers.
Louisiana Department of Health
• The department is monitoring health care facilities for generator and fuel availability.
• LDH sanitarians have conducted inspections at 14 shelters. These will be conducted daily on each shelter until shelters are closed.
• In addition to the Franklin nursing home, residents from Patterson nursing home in St. Mary Parish were safely evacuated to a sister facility in Shreveport.
Louisiana Economic Development
• Louisiana Economic Development remains poised to execute storm damage assessment and is coordinating with The Louisiana Business Emergency Operations Center.