Governor addresses severe weather response
BATON ROUGE - Governor John Bel Edwards received an update Thursday on the state's efforts to deal with widespread flooding in North Louisiana and the preparations underway for severe weather along the I-10 corridor.
Edwards met with GOHSEP leaders at the state's emergency operations center within State Police Headquarters on Independence Boulevard.
WBRZ weather experts predict 5 to 8 inches of rain in the Baton Rouge area between Thursday afternoon and Saturday morning. Lighting and possible storm rotation are possible Thursday and heavy rain could lead to flooding Friday. Already, flooding caused problems along I-20 near the Arkansas-Louisiana state line where one person died after driving into high water near Shreveport.
In East Baton Rouge and Ascension this week, authorities were supplying free sandbags to people who needed them.
Edwards said that the passing storms presents a "very serious emergency." Edwards said three people have already bene confirmed dead and 22 parishes are now in a state of emergency. Edwards said that if residents have to travel, please be mindful of road closures and avoid flooded areas.
The Governor also said FEMA is already involved in talks about assessing the damage after the storm has passed. Up to 750 national guardsmen have been authorized and up to 700 high water vehicles are at the ready to respond to flooded areas. Edwards says he is planning a trip to affected areas as early as tomorrow.
The National Guard says it hopes to have helicopters in the air tomorrow to perform search and rescue operations. General Curtis said 400 soldiers are on the ground already but that number is quickly rising.
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