Governor Edwards held a briefing about Tropical Storm Nicholas as it approaches the Texas Coast. The storm is expected to bring heavy rains to portions of Louisiana over the next few days.
At the press conference, Edwards spoke about the state's work to prepare for the storm. On Sunday, Edwards requested a pre-landfall disaster declaration in response to Nicholas. This declaration will help outside of the recovery and response to Hurricane Ida. See that declaration here.
Nicholas will likely be a depression as it moves into Louisiana from Tuesday into Thursday. Edwards says the track is still not completely certain and any eastern shift could change the strength and impact of the storm.
Flash flooding is the primary concern with totals of 6 to 10 inches possible across Louisiana. The storm has potential to cause river flooding, with ditches and catch basins that are not cleaned enhancing the threat of flooding.
Isolated tornadoes are possible on Wednesday and Thursday.
"We should not dismiss the threat of this storm just because it is not a hurricane," he said. Edwards noted that the side of the storm where most of the rain falls will be in Louisiana.
He pointed to previous storms including unnamed storms which caused flash flooding in areas of the state. In 2016, significant flooding was seen over three days time.
"The declaration of emergency was a prudent thing to do," he said. "We are asking everyone to be mindful of the threats."
Edwards reminds residents and drivers to stay away from flood waters and stay aware of the situation. Edwards asks that people stay in tune with weather advisories and local news for the latest updates.
"It is possible that restoration efforts could be slowed but some restoration could be hindered again," he said speaking about possible power outages. Thousands still remain without power following Hurricane Ida. Deaths from the storm are at 28 from this storm.
In preparation, 80 high water vehicles, 15 boats and air crafts from the National Guard will be positioned across the state.
The State Fire Marshal's Office has boats in Lafayette. That number may increase to 72 if needed. 169 agents with LDWF are ready to respond. CPRA is holding flood water operation in place from Hurricane Ida.
DOTD is readying equipment to utilize once the storm has passed, he said. That equipment would include signs and barricades for areas not passable following the storm.
1,425 people remain sheltered in the state following Hurricane Ida. Shelters are open and necessary for those who may need to relocate due to Tropical Storm Nicholas. Each parish resident can reach out to their parish officials for shelter information. Dial 211 for shelter info.
277,000 FEMA applications have been approved for Hurricane Ida totaling 317 Million dollars in assistance to Louisiana residents. 4,106 people are in the transitional housing program. 10,000 claims in the flood insurance program have been filed
51,000 have applied for the Blue Roof program with 450 already being installed. Edwards says the number will increase dramatically over the next coming days.
Those wanting to apply for the program can got to blueroof.us or call 1-888-766-3258.
"Bracing for another storm while responding to and recovering from another storm is not the situation we wanted to be in. We are in the peak of hurricane season and more storms are possible," Edwards said.
He asks that residents prepare and restock on their storm supplies that may have been used up during Ida. So far, state office closures were announced for 25 parishes including all of Acadiana.
Edwards spoke on COVID-19 stating that hospitalization are down and vaccinations continue to rise in the state. See the latest numbers here.
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