Gov. Edwards requests federal assistance due to ongoing river flooding concerns

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BATON ROUGE, La. (Office of the Gov.)— Gov. John Bel Edwards is requesting federal assistance due to the ongoing threat of river flooding across Louisiana and any potential activities associated with protecting the public. Gov. Edwards issued a state of emergency on February 27, 2019, as this extended fight began. A state of emergency is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in flood response efforts. Those efforts are being coordinated through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

“Weather experts say this has been the wettest stretch on record for the Lower Mississippi River Valley,” said Gov. Edwards. “Rivers and waterways across the state have remained elevated for the past several months. River forecasters say this fight will now extend well into the summer and will likely result in the need to open the Morganza Spillway, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Bonnet Carre spillway is currently open, after being opened and closed earlier this year as part of the flood fight. This is the first year that structure was opened twice. Many of our waterways remain elevated, many roads continue to have problems with standing water and floodwaters threaten homes and businesses in many different regions of the state. The state has already started assisting our local partners and stand ready to expand that assistance as needed.”

The Governor’s request covers emergency protective measures and direct federal assistance. 

GOHSEP’s Crisis Action Team remains active to process any potential requests for support from the parishes impacted by the river flooding.  GOHSEP continues to meet with local leaders, state agencies, the National Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers on protective actions and planning. Gov. Edwards also led a Unified Command Group (UCG) meeting with these same groups in order to coordinate the emergency response.

Preparations are already being made to sink a barge in Bayou Chene, which will help alleviate floodwaters from the Atchafalaya River from flowing back into that area.

Remember, avoid flooded roadways. Do not remove or drive around barricades. It only takes a few inches of moving water to sweep a car of a road.  A flooded roadway is also more prone to collapse.

In some areas, law enforcement or traffic crews are guiding drivers in areas where standing water is a problem. There could also be traffic delays along some of these routes as temporary flood control measures are installed along certain routes.

Visit www.511la.org for road updates during an emergency.  Keep your phones charged and near you while the threat continues in order to receive potential emergency messaging.

Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App.  It is free for basic service.  The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.

Click here for the emergency declaration request. 

Click here for the February 2019 Mississippi River Flooding State of Emergency.

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Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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