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Edwards declares State of Emergency ahead of Hurricane Zeta

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Oct 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-26 20:50:14-04

On Monday October 25, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency in advance of Hurricane Zeta.

The storm is expected to impact Louisiana later in the week, though the final track is still uncertain.

According to the National Weather Service, Zeta strengthened into a hurricane today and is expected to impact the northern Gulf Coast by Wednesday.

Strong winds, coastal flooding, heavy rain and tornadoes are all possible. See the latest on Zeta here.

During a press briefing on Monday, Edwards announced that he issued a disaster declaration for Hurricane Zeta ahead of the storm making landfall Wednesday in Southeast Louisiana as a Category 1 hurricane.

He said that Zeta is expected to mostly be a wind event and bring 2 - 4 inches of rain across Southeast Louisiana with heavier amounts of rain in local areas.

The governor said that he will continue having meetings with GOHSEP and other officials in the Southeast region on preparations for Zeta.

He said that members of the Louisiana National Guard have been propositioned ahead of the storm and that nearly 200 storm surge gates have been closed along the coast.

The Governor and the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) says they have been monitoring Zeta for several days and began coordination calls with local emergency managers on Sunday. A state of emergency allows GOHSEP and other state agencies to use state resources to aid in storm response efforts.

“While there is some uncertainty in Zeta’s track, it is likely that Louisiana will see some impacts from this storm, and the people of our state need to take it seriously. It’s easy to let your guard down late in the hurricane season, but that would be a huge mistake,” Gov. Edwards said. “GOHSEP has already started assisting our local partners with critical items like pumps, generators and food and water for first responders. We stand ready to expand that assistance as needed. Everyone should be monitoring the news for information and should heed any direction they get from their local leaders.”

Click here to read the emergency declaration.

Edwards held a press conference on Monday afternoon. See more from that press conference here.

PREPAREDNESS TIPS

GOHSEP is encouraging everyone to prepare now for any potential threat to your region of the state. Remember, avoid flooded roadways. Check out the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development’s website www.511la.org for updated road closure information.

Finalize an emergency communications plan with your family and co-workers. Keep your phones charged and near you while the threat continues in order to receive potential emergency messaging.

Check your emergency supplies. Remember to include any items needed to sustain each family member for at least 3 days.

Supply kits should include:

  • A three to five- day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil
  • A supply of face coverings, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes due to COVID-19 concerns
  • One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person
  • A first aid kit that includes your family's prescription medications
  • Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteries
  • An extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Special items for infant, elderly or disabled family members
  • An extra pair of glasses
  • Important family documents in a portable, waterproof container
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates and plastic utensils, paper towels
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
  • Infant formula and diapers
  • Pet food and water

The Governor’s office will share updates about Zeta, Delta, Hurricane Laura response and recovery and COVID-19 through its texting system. People may opt-in by texting LAGOV to 67283 and sign up for phone calls by going to Smart911

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