Coastal Residents Should Prepare for Heavy Rains and Potential Flooding from Tropical Depression; State Agencies Remain on Alert
BATON ROUGE (August 11, 2010) - BATON ROUGE - State agencies continue to monitor Tropical Depression Five as it moves through the Gulf of Mexico. The Depression is projected to bring heavy rains to Southeast Louisiana beginning this evening and lasting into Thursday.
"It is important to remember that even at its current intensity, Tropical Depression Five will bring a large amount of rain to Southeast Louisiana this evening and into Thursday," said GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper. "Our residents should take precautions to protect themselves and their families in the event of heavy rain or flash flooding. Citizens should also continue to pay close attention to their local weather channels because the storm will likely continue to shift and evolve as it moves through the Gulf.
"This hurricane season is projected to be very active and we are entering a time of year when major storms have a higher chance of forming. Louisiana families all across the state should have their storm plans in place and prepare their emergency kits and vital records in the event they need to evacuate under a severe weather threat. Visit www.getagameplan.org to get more information about how to keep you and your family safe this hurricane season."
Louisiana State Agency Preparedness Actions:
Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
- The GOHSEP Crisis Action Team (CAT) is monitoring the storm at the state EOC.
Louisiana National Guard
- LANG has personnel and equipment ready to respond as needed and reached out to parish officials on their needs. LANG has 1.8 million sandbags ready to push out to low lying areas as needed.
Louisiana State Police
- LSP Personnel are on standby for potential deployment as needed to areas that may be affected by the storm.
- Troop Commanders are working with local officials and law enforcement to provide assistance and assets as needed to areas that may be affected, particularly low-lying coastal areas.
Office of Coastal Protection and Restoration
- OCPR will monitor both the Caernarvon (St. Bernard) and Davis Pond (St. Charles) Freshwater Diversions and may need to close both in accordance with standard operating procedures during tropical storms and hurricanes. Diversions will be reopened when water levels return to normal following the storm.
- 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 Transportation and Development
- DOTD's contractor on the Twin Spans approaches project is suspending construction to remove equipment prior to TD 5's landfall. Construction should resume on Friday, August 13 once necessary equipment is moved back into place.
- DOTD is notifying its various contractors of the potential for evacuations related to the pending weather issues and the possibility of having to clear lanes and construction work zones as well as avoiding work and closures on the evacuation routes.
- DOTD is staging assets, securing facilities, and placing personnel on standby for storm related work. DOTD administrators are assessing emergency staffing needs.
- DOTD engineers are evaluating the flood risk of its roads outside the storm protection levees including LA 1 and are making arrangements to monitor these routes as the weather system approaches.
Department of Children and Family Services
- Vendors have been put on alert and resource availability has been confirmed.
- Red Cross is present in the DCFS EOC for sheltering operations and to provide situational awareness on activities.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
- LDWF has all of its enforcement agents on alert at this time to respond to any potential tropical storm. Agents in coastal areas are preparing their equipment for transport to safer areas of the state. Agents would be staged at a strategic central location that would be out of harm's way 24 hours in advance of landfall. The Enforcement Division has more than 200 agents and boats for search and rescue operations after the storm.
- The Forward Mobile Command Center is ready to be deployed for tropical storm deployment to serve as coordination headquarters of search and rescue missions.
Office of Juvenile Justice
- OJJ is on alert and will take action to evacuate Bridge City Center for Youth if a hurricane develops and threatens our area. OJJ is in contact with group homes and detention centers and all are ready to take action if needed.
- Bridge City Center for Youth near New Orleans will evacuate youth to Jetson Center for Youth in Baker if necessary. Jetson is ready to receive the youth. Detention centers in south Louisiana are on alert and OJJ will evacuate youth in our custody to safer locations inland if it becomes necessary.
Department of Corrections
- DOC is monitoring the storm. No jail evacuations planned as of now.
Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs
- Medication supplies have been inventoried and are in full supply for all LDVA Veteran home residents; Emergency Medication Kits at each facility have been inventoried and are at full stock.
IMPORTANCE OF BEING PREPARED
Throughout any tropical storm or hurricane, public information will be released through GOHSEP and the state Joint Information Center. A list of hurricane supplies, evacuation information and other critical information can be found on the www.getagameplan.org website.
Preparedness kits include:
- A three to five day supply of water (one gallon per person per day) and food that won't spoil
- One change of clothing and footwear per person, and one blanket or sleeping bag per person
- A first aid kit that includes prescription medications
- Emergency tools including a battery-powered radio, flashlight and plenty of extra batteriesAn extra set of car keys and a credit card, cash or traveler's checks
- Special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members
- And, important family documents in a waterproof container.