Tracking the Tropics

Sep 1, 2011 2:58 PM by Press Release

State Agencies on Alert for Tropical System in Gulf

BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal held a Unified Command Group (UCG) meeting today to get an update on the tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico. Governor Jindal emphasized that state agencies are prepared to assist coastal parishes should the system develop further and he also encouraged Louisianians to make sure they have a gameplan as the Gulf Coast braces for the height of hurricane season.

Governor Jindal said, "We're closely monitoring the weather in the Gulf and our agencies are on alert and stand ready to assist coastal parishes if the system strengthens. We know from experience that it's best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and since we're at the height of the hurricane season, now is a good time for Louisianians to make sure they have a gameplan to protect themselves and their families if a major storm approaches our coast."

The Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness' (GOHSEP's) Crisis Action Team (CAT) is monitoring the system, which is currently located in the southeastern Gulf of Mexico. The system is currently expected to bring heavy rain and possible flash flooding to coastal South Louisiana. At this point, the National Weather Service is estimating a possible accumulation of 10 to 12 inches of rain along coastal parishes over the next five days. Higher than normal tides are also expected.

"We will remain in contact with coastal parishes in the event they need assistance. With this being a holiday weekend, we encourage everyone to pay attention to their local forecasts and public officials for further guidance, if necessary. We certainly don't want anyone getting caught off guard," said Interim GOHSEP Director Pat Santos.

Hurricane season ends November 30. As a precaution, people should have extra supplies on hand such as non-perishable foods, bottle water, flashlights and extra batteries, in the event weather develops into something more severe. For a complete list of supplies and how you can keep your family safe from all hazards, go to www.getagameplan.org.

Agency Updates

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF):

· LDWF personnel across the coast are securing equipment in preparation for the storm

· All enforcement agents are on standby. LDWF has 225 agents and 150 vessels ready for response

· The LDWF mobile command unit and three fuel trailers are also on standby

· Wildlife personnel are securing equipment and preparing facilities at Wildlife Management Areas throughout the southern portion of the state

· Fisheries personnel across the coast are relocating vessels, vehicles and equipment at all of the coastal offices, including LaCombe, New Orleans, Grand Isle, Bourg/Houma and Lake Charles. Currently 60 fisheries staff members are engaged in storm preparations


Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA):

· Two LDVA Veterans Homes located south of I-10 (Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve and Southwest Louisiana Veterans Home in Jennings) are taking early precautions including patient assessments, inventory of supplies and medications, and topping off fuel supplies

· LDVA Veterans Homes located in Jackson, Monroe and Bossier City are on stand-by and are ready to receive patients should evacuations be necessary

Louisiana State Police (LSP):

· LSP is prepared to assist local parishes with road closures in the event of flooding


Department of Natural Resources (DNR):

· The Office of Conservation has contacted several major pipeline operators with facilities in the coastal area and they have no plans at this time to shut-in any of their lines. They are taking the necessary precautions, such as, testing back-up generators, securing extra fuel for generators, securing tanks that are located in low lying areas, and placing extra personnel on standby to respond as necessary.

Coastal:

· Terrebonne Levee district have closed the Upper Little Cailliou, Bush Canal, and Humble Canal Floodgates.

· The South Lafourche Levee District has closed their floodgate on Bayou Lafourche.

Parish Update:

· The system is currently expected to bring heavy rain and possible flash flooding to coastal South Louisiana.

· Flash flood watch is in effect for Lower Lafourche Parish. Sandbags are available at all Field Office Locations:

o Thibodaux Field Office: 2565 Veterans Blvd. (985-446-0335)

o Raceland Field Office: 129 Texas Street (985-537-3390)

o Lockport Field Office: 6236 Hwy 308 (985-532-6474)

o Galliano/Cut Off Field Office: 128 West 97th Street, Cut Off (985-632-5670)

o Choctaw Field Office: 122 Choctaw Barn Road (985-633-2410)

o Bayou Blue Field Office: 104 Myrtle Place, Houma (985-876-5503)

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