WATCH: Gov. Edwards holds weather briefing on Hurricane Ida, extends statewide mask mandate

Local News

BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) – Governor John Bel Edwards held a media briefing on Friday, Aug. 27 as Hurricane Ida approaches to discuss hurricane preparation, give COVID-19 updates and announce a four-week extension of the mask mandate.

Edwards begins the briefing by noting the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Laura. As for Hurricane Ida, he said it’s developing rapidly as it is now predicted to make landfall as a Category 4 in Louisiana.

Edwards reminds the public to remain calm and continue preparing for the storm as the next 24 hours pass.

“By nightfall tomorrow night, you need to be where you want to ride out the storm,” said Edwards.

The governor said President Biden has approved of the state’s emergency declaration.

NWS Meteorologist Benjamin Schott approached the podium to discuss the potential force of Hurricane Ida.

“This is stronger than Laura last year,” Schott said. ” This will be a life-altering storm.”

He said there is a possibility of winds over 100 mph coming through. Meanwhile, southeastern portions of the Gulf Coast could see 10-15 foot storm surges.

Southeast Louisiana is expected to see up to 10-15 inches of rainfall — with some areas predicted to receive about 20 inches, according to Schott.

“The biggest challenge is not just the strength of the storm, but how quickly it’s approaching,” said Edwards.

Edwards tells the public to avoid driving into floodwaters and stay informed of road closures.

Search and rescue efforts are in place in 13 parishes and those teams are ready to assist at the appropriate time. Additionally, 70 buses are in New Orleans and Lafayette; 125 buses will be staged in Louisiana.

He announced the cancellation of the upcoming New Orleans Saints game.

LDH State Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter gives the latest COVID-19 updates and tells the public not to visit the emergency room unless it is a true medical emergency.

Kanter said to stock up on medication prescriptions and oxygen. Anyone who requires live-saving medical equip such as oxygen to dial 211.

He said the hurricane will disrupt vaccine administering operations. For example, if you’ve receieved your first dose and were expecting to receive the second this weekend, then your should reschedule your appointment.

Kanter and Edwards said COVID-19 mitigation measures should continue. They said everyone should continue to wear masks and social distance.

Edwards urges Louisianans to continue preparing and suggests visiting for guidance.

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