BATON ROUGE - The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is activating its Crisis Action Team due to dangerous weather that will likely continue through Sunday evening.
Governor John Bel Edwards, along with emergency preparedness and response officials, held a press conference at GOHSEP headquarters at 4 p.m. to discuss the severe weather across the state.
According to GOHSEP spokesman Mike Steele, hail, dangerous winds and street flooding were reported in some regions before noon Sunday.
The Storm Prediction Center (SPC) has placed portions of the state in the high-risk category for tornadoes, an occurrence which is fairly rare, according to Steele.
That area extends from western central Louisiana to north Louisiana.
The high-risk category means there is a threat of EF-2 or greater tornadoes, damaging winds in excess of 75 mph and large hail in those areas.
The potential for severe weather will travel near the lower Mississippi Valley into the evening hours.
Most of the state is currently in the moderate or enhanced risk category. Excess rainfall is also expected to reach 3 to 6 inches or higher in many areas by Monday morning.
A modified State Unified Command Group made up of several state agencies will meet with Governor Edwards Monday morning at 8:00 am to assess damage and address any new concerns.
GOHSEP Director James Waskom said the following in today's press release:
"Conditions change quickly as these types of weather systems move across the region. I can't stress the importance of monitoring your local media and the four National Weather Service offices that cover our state for potentially lifesaving weather alerts. Maintaining that awareness, preparing your emergency kits and taking any actions to protect your property, businesses and pets are critical when facing this type of threat. There is a wealth of information on preparation at www.getagameplan.org. Check that site and download the Get A Game Plan App. You can also get emergency alerts on your phones and tablets by downloading the ALERT FM App. If you must travel, be aware of the potential road issues due to the weather conditions. Visit www.511.la.org for DOTD updates."