The state of Louisiana is bracing for a major hurricane on Sunday with Ida.
As of Saturday Edwards says nearly the entire state is under some type of warning or watch in preparation for the storm.
He stressed that people further inland should not be caught off guard. 110 miles per hour winds are possible from Lafayette to the Mississippi Border. That is a Category 2 hurricane.
Ida is expected to reach Category 4 status at landfall. Edwards says that the storm will be extremely powerful.
15 feet storm surge at Morgan city to the mouth of the Mississippi River. it will impact areas well away from the center of the storm. 8 to 16 inch rain with more possible Sunday through Tuesday in the Lafayette, Baton Rouge and South Eastern LA.
With rain amounts, flash flooding is a big concern. The storm he says looks to be 300 miles long.
River flooding is possible in the Norhtshore area of the state. "It doesn't take many hours of rain before those rivers could be at flood stage."
In a command meeting, NWS they are very certain about the track and intensity of the storm. It is projected to be the strongest storm to hit Louisiana since the late 1850s. He urged that people be where they need to be by Saturday night.
The state has been preparing for the storm, DOTD has waived the hours of service for truckers responding to hurricane Ida. There are many people on the roadways evacuating, that is expected and the governor says that patience will be necessary. More on evacuations can be found here
107 coach buses spread from Lafayette to New Orleans will be focused on South East Louisiana. A number of para-transit buses are being utilized to move out vulnerable residents, those in nursing home facilities.
Edwards asks the motorist not drive once the weather gets bad. "Turn around, don't drown."
Coastal parishes are working hard to shore up protection.
4,013 are activated to respond to the storm, with more to come. the entire La National Guard has been activated he said. Search and rescue assets staged in 14 parishes, including vehicles, boats, and helicopters
650 state, EMAC and FEMA individuals will be in place on Saturday night, staged across the state. Around 900 search and rescue workers may be utilized, he said. They will also utilize local agencies and Wildlife and fisheries
Linemen in the state, 10,000 . 20,000 expected as out of state workers come in to assist.
6:00 am on Saturday shelters began to open. Only a few dozen people are in shelters currently. Residents are asked to contact their local office of emergency preparedness for local shelters. 211 can also help find shelters. Information is also available at getagameplan.org. Text lashelter 298211.
Edwards says that those evacuating keep COVID-19 in mind. He also said that evacuees should not seek shelter in Lafayette or Baton Rouge. They should also evacuate with essential items: food, water, medicine, pets, PPE, and special health needs.
For those with special needs who need assistance in evacuation, call 211.
Edwards spoke directly to the people of Louisiana highlighting the 16th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. He said that Louisiana is not the same state it was 16 years ago. "We have tremendous investment in protection. This system is going to be tested, the people of Louisiana are going to be tested, but we are resilient people."
Edwards says that the state is in position and prepared to respond to Ida, he asks that residents also prepare before landfall.
"Please monitor the weather, heed guidance, be safety minded," he said. "Let's help one another, check on neighbors."
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