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DOTD and National Guard ready evacuation transportation while keeping COVID-19 in mind

Posted at 10:51 PM, Aug 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-24 23:51:24-04

The National Guard and DOTD have buses ready to help with potential evacuations ahead of Laura.

With the pandemic, however, there are some precautions that are in place.

"Obviously life and limb come before COVID, but we are taking COVID precautions, as much as we can, at the time and the need," said LTC Clint Small with the US Army National Guard

When it comes to rescues, Craig Stansbury with Lafayette Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness says there will be some precautions because of the pandemic.

"If they go to a reception area, they might take their temperature then, but not while they're in the middle of a situation."

Anyone needing to be evacuated will also be provided with personal protection equipment before being put onto buses. DOTD says that local parishes will handle screenings and log evacuees before they are transported.

"We have also been provided PPE, all the buses will be deconned [decontaminated] by each driver before and after each use, so we are prepared for COVID," Small said.

DOTD says the state has separate buses for those that are COVID-19 positive.Those buses would be handled by the Louisiana Department of Health.

They say there are enough buses to keep occupants socially distant during transport.

DOTD provided tips below for those needing to evacuate due to the storm threat.

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Motorists should watch for flooded roadways and avoid driving into standing or running water.

Drivers should also follow these tips when driving during and after a rainfall event:

• Drive slowly and carefully.
• Avoid driving while distracted.
• Always allow for extra driving time.
• Reduce speeds when visibility is low.
• Make sure there is plenty of room between vehicles.
• Avoid driving into standing or running water.
• Avoid using highway overpasses as tornado shelters.

DOTD reminds motorists to buckle up and refrain from drinking and driving.

Motorists are encouraged to check the status of road conditions prior to beginning commutes by utilizing the following resources for the latest information regarding road conditions:

• MyDOTD: Motorists can receive automatic and up-to-date information on local projects, lane and road closures, and other DOTD activity by signing up for MyDOTD at www.dotd.la.gov
• 511 Traveler Information: Travelers can also find information regarding road closures by visiting the 511 Traveler Information website at www.511la.org [511la.org] or by dialing 511 from their telephone and saying the route or region about which they are seeking information. Out-of-state travelers can access the system by calling 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511).

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