BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Delta, which is on track to hit his state later this week.
The Democratic governor called Delta an “incredibly dangerous storm that will bring heavy winds, rain and life threatening flooding and storm surge to coastal Louisiana.” The emergency declaration allows officials to seek federal aid quickly if needed.
He urged south Louisiana residents to closely monitor the weather, heed the advice of their local officials, stock needed supplies and make preparations for Delta’s impacts, which could begin as early as Friday.
Edwards said the National Weather Service is confident “that a hurricane is going to strike the state of Louisiana this week.” He called on people not to focus on the category of the storm or the center of the projection cone, since the entire state is in that cone and the storm could shift as it heads into the Gulf of Mexico.
Louisiana is still recovering from Hurricane Laura, which ravaged the southwest region as it roared ashore as a Category 4 storm in August. More than 6,600 Laura evacuees remain in hotels around the state, mainly in New Orleans, because their homes are too heavily damaged to return.
State and local officials in coastal areas were shoring up levees, sandbagging and taking other protection measures Tuesday, Edwards said.
Grand Isle Mayor David Camardelle called a mandatory evacuation in light of Delta’s projected path asking campers, recreation vehicles and boats to evacuate Tuesday due to coastal flooding. Grand Isle is located on a narrow barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico.
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