Update on State Agency Flood Fighting Efforts in Louisiana
BATON ROUGE (June 1, 2011)
State agencies continue their efforts to fight and prepare for flooding in communities across Louisiana. Updates from individual agencies are below.
Louisiana National Guard
In support of state and parish requirements, the Louisiana National Guard has 1,150 Guardsmen mobilized for this event. The Guard continues to maintain and fortify protection projects, conduct levee inspections and patrols and provide support to local law enforcement agencies and parish officials.
Today, the Guard is providing aviation support to FEMA and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness to assess levees and structures in Butte La Rose, at the sunken barge at Bayou Chene, Burns Point, Melville and the Old River structure.
Department of Transportation and Development
Today, DOTD will be re-opening the La. 975 on and off ramps from I-10. The ramps were previously closed due to high water.
As flood water recedes in some areas, DOTD reminds citizens to access the latest updates on real-time traffic and road conditions by using the 511 Traveler Information System. In state travelers can dial 511. Out-of-state travelers can call 1-888-ROAD-511 (1-888-762-3511). Travelers can also visit www.511la.org for updated information.
Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Because of rising floodwaters, many animals have been displaced from their normal habitats. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has 205 enforcement agents and 25 wildlife staff on duty, in addition to deploying 103 all terrain vehicles and two amphibious airplanes. LDWF is operating a Mobile Command Unit in Patterson in St. Mary Parish 24 hours a day. LDWF enforcement agents made 252 contacts and issued four verbal warnings while on levee patrol since the evening of May 30. Additionally, in Avoyelles Parish in Little River at the Spring Bayou WMA complex, agents made 51 contacts and issued five verbal warnings while patrolling the no wake zone in the area.
LDWF reports another black bear was seen on the Union Pacific Railroad north of U.S. Hwy. 190. Union Pacific is limiting train speed to 15 miles per hour through the Morganza Spillway to minimize bear injuries or deaths. Two bears were also seen on the east spillway levee about two miles north of U.S. Hwy. 190 and one bear was observed crossing LA Hwy. 77 in Fordoche.
LDWF continues to track and respond to reports of wildlife as necessary. In total, there have been 27 reported bear sightings. The Louisiana Black Bear remains on the threatened and endangered species list. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, LDWF asks the public call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.
For assistance with any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:
- Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
- Hammond 985-543-4777
- Monroe 318-343-4044
- New Iberia 337-373-0032
- Opelousas 337-948-0255
- Pineville 318-487-5885