NewsCovering Louisiana


Edwards: Be weather aware, don't get complacent

Posted at 1:15 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 16:31:39-04

Gov. John Bel Edwards urged Louisiana residents to be "weather aware" as Hurricane Zeta takes aim at the state's coast.

Edwards said he's already asked President Trump for an emergency declaration for Zeta, and he has touched base with FEMA officials about the hurricane.

"We're still expecting landfall tomorrow evening in southwest Louisiana," Edwards said. The storm is predicted to make landfall as a Category 1, with mostly wind damage because of the anticipated speed.

Overall, it's not expected to be a big rainmaker, but if you're in an area where a rain band sets up, you could see a lot of water, he said. The risk of tornadoes also is increased, he said.

"With landfall expected tomorrow evening, you have the rest of today and tomorrow morning to prepare yourself and your family for the impacts of the hurricane," Edwards said.

Grand Isle evacuated today at noon; there's a voluntary evacuation in Plaquemines Parish for mobile home residents; Lafourche has a mandatory evacuation tomorrow morning for Golden Meadow, and there's one in Terrebonne south of the levee, he said.

Zeta is moving at about 14 mph now, but at landfall, it should be moving in the 20 mph range, and maybe even faster than that. That translates to lower rainfall totals, but still a lot of potential for wind damage to homes and businesses and the electrical system, the governor said.

Forecasters expect the worst winds in extreme southeast Louisiana. Most of New Orleans is in the cone, he added, so that damage there is certainly a possibility.

"All of southeast Louisiana needs to be mindful, vigilant and weather aware. It is imperative that we use the time we have today and early tomorrow to prepare," Edwards said. "No one should be complacent because it's late October and it feels like hurricane season should be behind us. Hurricane season is not over and it won't be over until late next month."

Edwards reiterated generator safety, because so many people have died recently because of unsafe use of them. To read a story about that, click here.

He said citizens shouldn't forget "we're still responding to hurricanes Laura and Delta, and we're still in the COVID-19 pandemic."

Edwards mentioned that FEMA has extended the deadline for FEMA registration for assistance related to Hurricane Laura. To read about that, click here.

There are still almost 4,000 people in shelters following Laura and Delta, mostly Delta. Most of them are in hotels because of COVID, he said.

The governor said mosquito spraying will continue tonight. To read about that, click here.

On the COVID front, the governor said officials are double-checking some of the state's numbers, because there's been a relatively large jump in ventilator numbers coupled with a decrease in hospitalization numbers and that's not the usual way things go. Because it's an anomaly, the numbers will be reviewed, he said.

Edwards recognized the retiring chief of State Police. He said he hopes to announce a replacement soon. Here's our story on that.

Here's the video of the presser:

To see the latest from KATC's meteorologists about the storm, click here.