BATON ROUGE — Gov. Edwards has declared a state of emergency due to the current heavy rainfall totals beginning to impact the state and the potential for wintry conditions beginning this weekend and extending to next week.
While the forecast beyond the weekend is still uncertain, the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging all Louisianans to plan accordingly. Flash flooding from heavy rains can happen very quickly. While flooded roadways and flash flooding are the immediate concerns, there is the potential for additional weather issues beginning tomorrow. The National Weather Service (NWS) indicates an Arctic high pressure system is pushing south, bringing with it the coldest air of the season to at least portions of the state.
“Already in Louisiana we have communities that have seen the impacts of flash flooding and water on the roadways, and there is the potential for worse weather and bad conditions as the days go on. Now is the time for people to make a plan for the coming days that could include staying at home during severe weather,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said. “Monitor the local news and updates from the National Weather Service and your local leaders, check on your neighbors and stay safe.”
“The conditions over the next few days include a number of threats,” said GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom. “Right now we know heavy rain is forcing street closures in some regions and a flash flood threat will continue. We also know that dangerous winter weather conditions are in the forecast for Louisiana through the middle of next week. That means we all must remain aware of the severe weather threat, finalize your emergency plans for the winter weather threat and be ready to adjust those plans due any changes in the forecast or due to potential weather alerts being issued.”
Community sites for COVID testing managed by Louisiana’s National Guard will close on Monday and Tuesday.
The NWS Shreveport office supplied the following information:
Timing and Overview:
– Lingering freezing rain/drizzle in some areas across the region.
– Confidence is increasing in a major winter storm for the region on Monday with another winter storm on Wednesday.
– Cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills expected Monday and Tuesday.
Remember to take certain steps to prepare for the freezing temperatures. For pets and animals, bring them inside wherever possible and make sure drinking water stays unfrozen. For your home, protect your pipes and safely operate heating devices.
Check on friends, neighbors or family members that may struggle with these weather conditions.
If travel is in your plans, visit www.511.la.org for updates on road conditions. GOHSEP is closely monitoring this weather threat and stands ready to support our local partners and state agencies if help if needed.