Edwards: State still in response mode after Hurricane Barry


BATON ROUGE, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says the state is still in response mode after Tropical Storm Barry was downgraded to a tropical depression Sunday afternoon, even though the storm didn’t produce quite as much heavy rain and flooding as predicted.

“I, for one, am extremely grateful that the forecasted rains and flooding did not materialize. This was a storm that could’ve played out very, very differently.

We leaned forward. We were prepared for the risks, the threats that were forecasted and we’re thankful that the worst-case scenario did not happen. But understand here in Louisiana if nowhere else, that will not always be the case.”

“Based on what we’ve experienced, I think we’ve learned, as we do in every single storm. And that will make us even better prepared for next time, and we do know that there will be a next time.”

Still, Edwards said over 90,000 customers are still without power. State offices in Assumption, Iberia and St. Mary parishes will remain closed Monday, July 15 due to continued power outages.

Eleven shelters remain open with more than 100 people in them.

The Louisiana National Guard still has 3,000 soldiers activated, mostly in south Louisiana. They will start moving assets to north Louisiana in case it’s needed, the governor says.

He also updated the number of people rescued to 90, from 11 parishes.

The governor wrapped up with a reminder that “It’s just the middle of July,” with hurricane season just getting under way. He says now is the time to “use the opportunity to review how you can be better prepared for when the next hurricane or other severe weather event hits.”

The governor also took the time to thank the thousands that responded to the threat, from federal employees from FEMA and the Coast Guard to all of the state and local level responders from sheriff’s and fire departments to levee authorities, “and then it extends out to the faith-based community and other organizations who always step up and perform valiantly, and I want to thank them on behalf of the state of Louisiana.”

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