Louisiana is feeling the effects of Delta, and the time for evacuation has passed, Gov. John Bel Edwards said during a 1 p.m. press briefing.
"Since early this morning, Louisiana has been feeling the effects of Hurricane Delta, and at this time, everyone in the path needs to be focused on sheltering in place," the Governor says.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall as a Category 2 between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight.
"The good news is Delta is moving relatively quickly," the governor said.
The storm also has weakened from Category 3 to Category 2, he said.
"This is still a very strong storm that is going to bring significant impacts to Louisiana," Edwards said.
Winds in excess of 70 miles per hour and gusts of up to 100 mph are likely from Calcasieu to Lafayette parishes, and up to Alexandria, he said.
It's important to remember that effects will be felt outside of the "cone," and so you shouldn't get focused on the forecast track, he said.
There have been power outages, and lots of rain, in Baton Rouge, he said.
There are 6,500 to 7,000 linemen and utility crews in the state, and another 5,000 on stand-by out of state, he said.
The Louisiana National Guard has more than 2,500 members on alert in the state, as well as state agents with Wildlife and Fisheries, State Police and Fire Marshal's Office to do search and rescue, but if you have stayed put you should assume that the first 72 hours "are on you," the governor said.
DOTD has transported more than 500 evacuees to Alexandria last night, most of them from Calcasieu Parish. If you need information on shelters, text LaShelter to 898211 or call your local office of emergency preparedness. To find your local office, click here.
The plan is to get evacuees out of the shelter as soon as possible, either by going back home or going to a hotel, he said. There is only room for about 800 people in Alexandria; some will be moved to Bastrop and Shreveport, he said.
That's because hurricane or not, COVID has not taken a holiday, he said. The Governor said he's concerned because the number of hospitalizations state wide has been inching up for the past four days. The positivity rate also has been increasing, he said.
Following a meeting of the Unified Command Group, Governor John Bel Edwards held a press conference on the state's response to Hurricane Delta.
The 1:00 pm press conference will be live streamed on KATC and KATC.com as part of our team's continued storm coverage.
Watch the live stream below:
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