Governor Jindal Urges Louisianians to Get Prepared for Tropical Depression Bonnie
BELLE CHASSE (July 23, 2010) - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal traveled to the Plaquemines Parish Emergency Operations Center (EOC) where he met with Louisiana Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Hal Turner, Parish President Billy Nungesser and first responders for an assessment of state and local preparations for Tropical Depression Bonnie.
Governor Jindal said, “We came to Plaquemines Parish because this area will likely be one of the first to feel the impact of the tropical depression. There are three major items that we’re focused on as this storm heads to Louisiana.
“First, we’re urging everyone to get prepared now and to ensure they have a game plan. While it’s only forecasted to be tropical depression at this point, we know from experience that it’s best to prepare for the worst and hope for the best. That’s why I encourage everyone to visit www.getagameplan.org
“Second, obviously we have concerns about the storm’s impact on the oil in the Gulf – and we are taking the oil spill response measures into account as hurricane response plans are implemented. We’re doing everything we can to minimize and mitigate the impact of the oil on our coastline. For instance, we continue to work with the federal government and BP to adjust their evacuation plans in the event of a storm.
“Third and finally, we’re strongly encouraging people to please stay updated on local weather reports. As we know, storms can quickly strengthen and change directions so it’s critical for our people to remain vigilant and be ready to implement their game plans.”
Six parishes are planning to make a decision about declaring a state of emergency by today, including: Jefferson, Orleans, Washington, Evangeline, Iberia, and St. Martin.
Lafourche Parish is planning for voluntary evacuations for low lying areas only at this time and they will open a parish shelter if needed. Plaquemines Parish is planning to voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas and they will use the Belle Chasse Auditorium as a shelter and request Red Cross support, as needed. St. Charles Parish will likely call for a voluntary evacuation for low-lying areas as well as the West Bank area outside of the levee protection. The parish plans to stand up one shelter and request Red Cross assistance, as needed.
Acadia, Calcasieu, and Cameron, and St. Martin parishes are also planning to call for voluntary evacuations for low-lying areas and mobile homes. All parishes will announce the timeline for these voluntary evacuations based on their own response timelines and the development of weather conditions. Other parishes are continuing to monitor the storms development and stand up any needed shelter space within the parish as their evacuations may necessitate.
STATE AGENCY PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS
DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES (DCFS)
DCFS’s current shelter capacity is 13,770 – including state-run and non-state-run Critical Transportation Needs Shelters, Medical Special Needs and a sex offender shelter. Out of state shelter capacity is 29,000 and includes shelter space in Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, and Georgia.
DEPARTMENT OF WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES (LDWF)
Every agent in the state is on Wildlife alert at this time to respond to any potential tropical depression. Agents on alert are getting their equipment fueled and loaded up for potential transport to a staging area.
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT (DOTD)
LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS (LDVA)
Patient assessments at the Southwest LA Veterans Home in Jennings are still underway. Back-up generator testing has been completed at all facilities as of this morning and all testing was successful.
DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY (DEQ)
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HOSPITALS (DHH)
LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD (LANG)
OFFICE OF COASTAL PROTECTION AND RESTORATION (OCPR)
OCPR is coordinating with the Corps of Engineers as well as area levee and conservation districts to monitor rising water levels to determine appropriate times to close flood and navigation gates on area waterways. Closures of floodgates on area waterways in St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Jefferson, Lafourche and Terrebonne are expected as water levels rise over the next 24-36 hours.
OCPR is coordinating with levee districts and parish EOCs to monitor water levels on area levee systems to determine if additional assets are needed for potential flood fighting from elevated tides, storm surges or rainfall.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS (DOC)
Visitation at many state correctional facilities for Saturday and Sunday, July 24-25, is canceled due to the impending storm. Wardens can make special exceptions for people traveling from out of state, but offenders were informed of this decision yesterday and were to inform their family and friends of the cancellation. State correctional facilities affected by the cancelation include: Rayburn Correctional Center (Angie), Elayn Hunt Correctional Center and Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women (St. Gabriel), Dixon Correctional Institute (Jackson), Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola), Avoyelles Correctional Center (Cottonport), Allen Correctional Center (Kinder), C. Paul Phelps Correctional Center (DeQuincy) and J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center (Pineville). Weekend visiting will proceed normally at the following institutions: David Wade Correctional Center (Homer), Forcht Wade Correctional Center (Keithville) and Winn Correctional Center (Winnfield).
DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES (DNR)
LOUISIANA WORKFORCE COMMISSION (LWC)
STAY INFORMED/BE PREPARED
Preparedness kits include: