UPDATE: Gov. Edwards declares State of Emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Ida

Louisiana News

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks at a press conference regarding updates to coronavirus in the state, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La. (Hilary Scheinuk/The Advocate via AP)

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — The National Weather Service has upgraded Ida to a Hurricane from a Tropical Storm and President Biden has approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request for a State of Emergency.

According to the governor’s office, on Friday, August 27, 2021, President Joe Biden declared that a state of emergency does exist in Louisiana and has ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the threat of emergency conditions from now Hurricane Ida beginning August 26, 2021.

To stay up to date on Hurricane Ida, click here.

BATON ROUGE, La. (KTVE/KARD)(August 26, 2021 6:24 p.m.) — With Tropical Storm Ida setting its sights on the Gulf Coast, Governor John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm.

According to the National Hurricane Center, this system is forecast to move into the northern Gulf Coast at or close to a major hurricane intensity by Sunday.

The governor’s office says there is some uncertainty in the forecast because this storm has just formed, but there is still potential for dangerous storm surge, damaging hurricane-force wind, and heavy rainfall Sunday into Monday along the coast of Louisiana.

“Unfortunately, all of Louisiana’s coastline is currently in the forecast cone for Tropical Storm Ida, which is strengthening and could come ashore in Louisiana as a major hurricane as Gulf conditions are conducive for rapid intensification. Now is the time for people to finalize their emergency game plan, which should take into account the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “This type of threat contains additional problems because the window to prepare is so short. By Saturday evening, everyone should be in the location where they intend to ride out the storm.  Monitor the local news and updates from the National Weather Service and your local leaders, check on your neighbors, include plans for your pets, and stay safe. This situation could result in major power outages and limited travel. Consider steps that may need to be taken to deal with those type issues. The people of Louisiana have been tested time and time again, and while it is my hope and prayer that this storm will not bring destruction to our state, we should be prepared to take the brunt of the severe weather.”

The governor says the Emergency Operations Center at the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) has been activated and they are monitoring the storm as well as working with FEMA and all local parish emergency offices.

GOHSEP says all Louisiana residents and visitors should plan accordingly. GOHSEP went on to say the storm is expected to pack winds of 110 miles per hour and people should prepare for heavy rains, flash flooding, and strong winds.

“The conditions over the next 48 hours will be critical,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “Right now we know conditions are primed for this system to strengthen. We also know the reality of this impact all too well.  That means we all must remain aware of the potential of this severe weather threat, finalize your emergency plans and be ready to adjust those plans due any changes in the forecast or due to potential weather alerts being issued. If your plans involve using generators or other equipment, make sure you understand how to use those resources properly. Generators resulted in more fatalities than the actual 2020 storms. Please use caution.”

Remember to take certain steps to prepare for your family and pets. Check on friends, neighbors or family members that may struggle with their preparedness plans. People should be sure to pack masks and hand sanitizer if they evacuate and if multiple households are sheltering together, they should consider indoor masking to reduce the chance of COVID-19 spreading. It is also not too late for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, which is safe, effective and widely available all across Louisiana.

If travel is in your plans, visit www.511.la.org for updates on road conditions. GOHSEP is closely monitoring this weather threat and stands ready to support our local partners and state agencies if help if needed.

For updates from the Governor’s Office, text the word ‘IDA’ to 67283.

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