May 15, 2013 9:29 PM by AP
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - As the Mississippi River rises, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Wednesday in preparation of crests in the state that are predicted to be well above flood stage.
The National Weather Service has issued flood warnings along the length of the river from Arkansas City, Ark., south to Baton Rouge, including at Natchez and Vicksburg, Miss., according to forecaster Danielle Manning.
"The impact is still well within the levees at Baton Rouge," she noted.
As of Wednesday, the river at Baton Rouge was at 34.9 feet, with flood stage set at 35, she said. "It's expected to crest near 36 feet on May 19. Below Baton Rouge is not expected to reach flood stage."
Manning said its gauge at Red River Landing in Pointe Coupee Parish has already surpassed the 48-foot flood stage. "It's at 52.1 currently," she said. "On the 19th, it's expected to hit 52.5 feet."
The declaration says the state anticipates that assistance may be needed for parishes within the designated emergency area "in their preparations and response to this developing threat."
The declaration goes through Friday, June 14, unless terminated sooner.