BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC Local 33) (FOX 44) – Louisiana sits in a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Barry threatens to make landfall along the Gulf Coast as a low-intensity Category 1 hurricane.
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards gathered with his unified command team on July 11 to debrief media with the latest details regarding storm preparations.
“I would remind everyone this is the 258th consecutive day of flood fight on the Mississippi River. This is the longest in history,” said Edwards. “If Tropical Storm Barry becomes a hurricane, as we fully expect it will, this will be the first time we’ve had a hurricane make landfall in Louisiana while our Mississippi River was at flood stage.”
Edwards called the upcoming storm “a major weather event” as Major General Glenn Curtis with the Army National Guard stated, “he has authorized us to mobilize about 3,000 guardsmen.”
The deputy director of military support for the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Maj. Lance Hargrave told NBC Local 33, “For here in the Baton Rouge area, our main concern is going to be rainfall… we have our high water vehicles, we have our boats.”
Meanwhile, LA Department of Transportation and Development secretary Shawn Wilson said the state has activated its coach bus contract to assist with evacuation and recovery efforts. “That contract will give us up to 700 buses over a staggered period of time,” said Wilson.
Edwards also said he has made contact with emergency officials in the nation’s capital.
“I have signed off and requested a federal declaration of emergency,” said Edwards speaking about his recent call with FEMA acting secretary, Peter Gaynor.
Edwards said he anticipates the storm will make landfall as a category one hurricane in the morning hours of July 13.