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City-parish officials prepare for Harvey impact in Baton Rouge

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BATON ROUGE- As Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to make landfall for the third time, city-parish officials gathered at the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.

On Tuesday, officials began a ‘Partial Activation Status” and staged personnel at the MOHSEP headquarters. Boats and barricades are on standby in the event of heavy rain or possible flooding, but officials hope they won’t be necessary. 

“This could create a flash flooding situation if a rain band stalls over a particular area for a period time,” Mayor-President, Sharon Weston Broome said during a press conference. 

Other city officials said plans would be ready if the need arose. 

“Now we have our boat crews, that are positioned and ready if anything does occur,” Interim Baton Rouge Police Chief Jonny Dunnam said. 

The department added ‘boat crews’ following last year’s flood. City-parish officials said they are trying to be better prepared, just in case. 

“Some of these roads are prone to flooding and we want to make sure that everyone knows that as little as 15 centimeters of water can stall your vehicle,” Dunnam said.

If roads hold water, the Department of Transportation and Development asked residents to please stay off of them. 

Officials from the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office, The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, and city leaders from Central, Zachary and Baker, Louisiana State Police, GOHSEP, and American Humane were present Tuesday and have been part of the preparation planning over the last week.  

Starting Tuesday, the parish and surrounding parishes are under flash flood watch until 7 p.m. Thursday. 

Until the city is in the clear, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome asks residents to stay up-to-date with the local news, and follow MOHSEP updates online.

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