Gov. John Bel Edwards speaks from the Louisiana Police Academy. (Photo by JC Canicosa/Louisiana Illuminator)
South Louisiana is already experiencing outages and flooding due to Tropical Storm Nicholas, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon, but the heaviest rainfall from Nicholas is yet to come. And it is expected “in areas most devastated by Hurricane Ida down in Southeast Louisiana.”
“That’s particularly challenging because many individuals live in homes that are not have not yet been repaired… to the point where they can withstand rain,” he said.
Nicholas is now moving slowly from Texas into Southwest Louisiana, and is expected to stall over Louisiana, Edwards said, which means Louisiana residents can expect rain through the weekend.
Dr. Joe Kanter, Louisiana’s chief medical officer, warned Louisiana residents to avoid driving on roadways over the next couple days.
“Only travel by road if it’s absolutely necessary,” he said, adding that four of the five deaths from Baton Rouge’s flooding in May were “due to people being on the roadways.”
Louisianians should listen to local officials and weather reports to determine when it is safe to drive on roads again, Edwards said.
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“If you live in south Louisiana, you can expect a lot of rain. You should anticipate flash flooding and potentially river flooding,” he said.
Southwest and Central Louisiana could see four to six inches of rainfall, while Southeast Louisiana could see six to 10 inches. Debris from Hurricane Ida could make it difficult for drainage systems to work properly and might exacerbate flooding.
“Much of Louisiana Central and South Louisiana is projected to receive a lot of rain,” he said. “That has already started.”
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There have already been about 13,500 power outages related to Nicholas, primarily in areas that just had power restored after losing power from Ida, Edwards said. Another 95,000 households and businesses are still without power due following Hurricane Ida.
Louisiana still has 1,100 people staying in 18 shelters as a result of Ida. That number could grow if flooding from Nicholas forces people out of their homes.
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