In A Flash

Flooding in Southwest Louisiana prompts Gov. Edwards to issue emergency declaration

By: - May 17, 2021 9:07 pm

In this file photo from August 2020, Latasha Myles and Howard Anderson stand in their living room where they were sitting when the roof blew off around 2:30am as Hurricane Laura passed through the Lake Charles, Louisiana, area. The bad weather, Monday, May 17, 2021, including tornadoes and flood, hit the same area. (Photo by Joe Raedle /Getty Images)

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a State of Emergency Declaration  Monday evening in response to ongoing severe weather impacting Southwest Louisiana. Water rescue crews were dispatched Monday afternoon. Multiple flash flood warnings and tornado Warnings were issued by the National Weather Service (NWS), and heavy rain is expected to continue across Louisiana for much of the week.

The places that flooded Monday are the same places hit by back-to-back hurricanes in 2020.

“The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) stands ready to support our local partners with any emergency resources needed beyond their capabilities,” Edwards said in a written statement. “We are only a few weeks away from the start of hurricane season, but this threat is the latest in a string of recent weather threats that remind us of the importance of preparedness and staying informed. And as the weather threat continues this week, I implore Louisianans to monitor their local weather forecasts and follow all instructions from local leaders.”

Edwards directed Louisianians to to help finalize emergency plans. and to download the free ALERT FM app to stay on top of weather news. The governor recommended residents start with  “getting a COVID-19 vaccination for you and your family in case evacuations and shelter operations become necessary.”

A state of emergency is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts.

GOHSEP also encourages everyone to avoid flooded roadways. Do not remove or drive around barricades. Visit for road updates during an emergency.

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Louisiana Illuminator
Louisiana Illuminator

The Louisiana Illuminator is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization driven by its mission to cast light on how decisions are made in Baton Rouge and how they affect the lives of everyday Louisianians, particularly those who are poor or otherwise marginalized.