Governor Edwards says that conditions are changing rapidly and will continue to change rapidly in the next 24 hours in the state.
The effects of Hurricane Ida are now being felt across Southeast Louisiana after the storm made landfall near Port Fourchon. It was one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the state in modern times.
Edwards says the storm intensified up until landfall with wind speeds at 150 mph, nearly a category 5 storm.
The Governor says that by now, if you are in Ida's path and you have not felt the effects of the storm, Edwards says you soon will.
Make sure you are secure and in an interior space and stay there until the threat passes. Edwards recommends having a mattress nearby to protect yourself and others from falling debris.
"Don't drive around and sight-see," he urged. He says that after the storm those people wanting to return should not go out to areas effected by Ida. This will inhibit the activity of first responders.
Edwards says that people in that state should stay in place for at least 72 hours after the storm has passed. There are 4,000 Louisiana National Guard stationed across the state ready to assist.
There are search and rescue efforts ready once the storm passes. 164 coaches (buses) are currently available through DOTD, 185 will be available by Monday morning. These vehicle will be utilized for moving affected residents and rescues.
"If people don't have a place to go, they need transportation," he said.
This morning, levee districts began more sandbagging operations ahead of the storm. Based on the track of the storm, the CPRA is anticipating over-topping of the LaRose to Golden Meadow Levees. Other levees may be over topped as well. Over topping is not the same as a levee failure, Edwards says. "they are very different things." The levees of the Mississippi River are not expected to have any overtopping, he added.
CPRA has staged pumps to fight flooding in coastal parishes. "This is a fluid situation, everyone needs to stay abreast and follow local official guidance," Edward said.
He asks that travel not happen after the storm unless extremely necessary. There my be hazards on the roadways that are not known. Edwards asks that people not drive through standing water.
Curfews are being announced Sunday for many parishes in Louisiana. Edwards asks that residents honor the curfews and keep streets clear for emergency responders.
Evacuees should contact their Emergency Office of Preparedness.
1,542 sheltered across the state in around 23 shelters. The number is expected to increase in the days to come as residents discover there homes are damaged or destroyed by the storm.
For shelter information, text LASHELTER to 898211. Residents can also call 211 for shelter assistance. Shelters, Edwards says will follow strict COVID guidelines to keep people safe. Non-congregate sheltering in hotels will be utilized as necessary. Congregate sheltering, shelters, will be utilized first.
"The coming days are going to be difficult for our state in many many ways, but we have never been more prepared," Edwards said. "I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the team we have assembled at the state level."
Edwards says that the state will be ready at first light on Monday to go out and assess damage in the storm affected areas.
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