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Gov. Edwards advises residents to continue taking Harvey seriously

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BATON ROUGE - Although Harvey has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm, Gov. John Bel Edwards says it's still a threat to Louisiana. 

At least 18 parishes in the state have been declared a state of emergency. 

"This a large powerful storm and the rain bands will cross over into Louisiana," Edwards said at his press conference Saturday afternoon. 

He also expressed that this is not a time for residents to become complacent. 

"It could be a week before that storm crosses into Louisiana and dumps a lot rain in our state and eastern portions of Texas," Edwards said. "All of which drain into the Sabine River for Example and could cause flooding there."

Even though Texas is taking the brunt of Harvey, FEMA has equipment and staff to set up a temporary hospital for special need patients in Baton Rouge if needed.

"We could be prepared and ready to respond in a moments notice and that's pretty much why it's here," William Doran of FEMA said. 

The governor says voluntary evacuations orders are still in place in Cameron, Vermilion and Ibera Parishes. 

He says Harvey has already produced a tornado in the southwestern part of the state.

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