Governor Edwards gave an update on Thursday on several topics concerning the state.
Edwards started off with the weather concerns which have continued in Southeastern Louisiana this week and will move into Southwestern Louisiana. Edwards says this weather is expected to continue to cause problems for residents.
He urged residents to pay attention to weather updates and stay off roads in a flash flood warnings. Of the 5 confirmed deaths attributed to this week's storm event, 4 were related to driving through high water, the governor said.
349 National Guard soldiers have been activated, with 79 high water vehicles and boats. They are conducting search and rescue and will continue to do so.
109 people are currently in shelters, with 87 people in Lake Charles.
Anyone needing shelter should contact their local OEP office. More information can be found at Getagameplan.org.
Edwards urged that those who are not vaccinated do so, part of the Get a Game Plan initiative.
Damage.la.gov is where homeowners and renters can self-report damage they sustained from the recent storms. This reporting will help make the case for federal assistance for recovery.
Nearly 900 residents have already reported damage since the severe weather began Monday.
"The severe weather, including deadly flash flooding, has impacted hundreds of homes in Louisiana. Whether there was minor damage or more than a foot of water, we need you to report it to GOHSEP so that we can use this information to plan any request to the federal government for disaster assistance," Gov. Edwards said. "Federal relief is not guaranteed, and it is too early to know if any aid will be available, but the first step of the recovery process is assessing the level of damage across the state. Please stay safe as you continue recovering, especially as severe weather may continue through to Friday."
Reporting to damage.la.gov does not replace reporting damage to a person's insurance agency. Anyone impacted by the severe weather should fill out the survey to report damage to their home. This includes structures only, not vehicles.
The survey is voluntary and does not guarantee any federal disaster relief assistance. It will be beneficial in assisting with the damage assessment process in Louisiana related to this event. Anyone needing assistance with the survey can call 211.
"It is too early to know if federal assistance will be available," he said. "It depends on the number of families affected and the severity of the damage."
Edwards says it is a fluid situation as they are continuing to address damage while still dealing with ongoing rains.
Gov Edwards went over the state's COVID-19 numbers on Thursday. He says when it comes to vaccinating, we have to do better. 5,275 individuals ages 12 to 15 years old have received their vaccine, which is the Pfizer vaccine. That age range was added last week.
Last week, there was an uptick in calls for vaccines for the 12-15 age range. Edwards is encouraging people to ask questions and take advantage of the hotline the state has set up: 1-855-453-0774.
The hotline can provide information on where to receive a vaccine and assistance with getting a vaccine, including rides for those who need it.
Dr. Kanter with LDH continued to speak on the younger age group when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccine. He urges that those with eligible children should speak to their pediatricians if they have more questions.
A number of special guests spoke on the effectiveness of the vaccine for that age group.
Kanter reminded residents that those who are fully vaccinated (14 days after getting the second dose) do not have to wear a mask under most circumstances.
Kanter says that those who are not vaccinated should still wear a mask. There is no way to regulate, Kanter says, but he hopes that people will be "good neighbors" and think of others.
Vaccine roll-out is going well, Kanter says but they are still urging residents to get vaccinated. Just over 30 percent of the population in Louisiana is fully vaccinated.
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