Federal State Of Emergency Just Declared

Kirsters Baish| Opinion| On Thursday evening, President Donald Trump officially declared a federal state of emergency in Louisiana ahead of Tropical Storm Barry, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send disaster relief groups to help.

According to Fox News, “Trump approved the federal assistance at the request of Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, who noted that within the past 24 hours, 28 parishes had issued emergency declarations and 14 were in the process of doing so. Residents have been stacking sandbags or fleeing to higher ground in preparation for torrential downpours, with heavy flooding expected once the storm makes landfall from the Gulf of Mexico either late Friday or early Saturday.”

The President wrote in a Thursday evening tweet, “To everyone on the Gulf Coast: As you make preparations to protect your homes & loved ones from flooding & the coming storm, it is imperative that you heed the directions of @FEMA, State & Local Officials. We are working closely w/ them. Please be prepared, be careful, & be SAFE!”

John Bel Edwards tweeted, showing appreciation for Trump’s quick action in the wake of the storm.

“Thank you President Trump for quickly responding to my request for a federal disaster declaration,” the Democrat tweeted. “We appreciate the support of the White House and our federal partners as we continue our unprecedented flood fight and respond to Tropical Storm.”

On Wednesday, Edwards declared a state of emergency. He authorized the activation of as many as 3,000 soldiers and airmen from the Louisiana National Guard to prepare for the storm, as reported by Baton Rouge’s WBRZ-TV.

“National Guard troops and rescue crews in high-water vehicles took up positions around the state as Louisiana braced for the arrival of the storm,” according to Fox. “Barry could pack winds of about 75 mph, just barely over the threshold for a hurricane, when it comes ashore, making it a Category 1 storm, forecasters said. It is expected to bring more than a foot and a half of rain in potentially ruinous downpours that could go on for hours as the storm passes through the metropolitan area of nearly 1.3 million people and pushes inland.”

According to the National Weather Service, the Mississippi River is expected to rise to as high as 19 feet by this coming Saturday morning “at a key gauge in the New Orleans area, which is protected by levees 20 to 25 feet high,” according to Fox.

In 2005, Hurricane Katrina left New Orleans in shambles after catastrophic flooding. The deaths of more than 1,800 people in Louisiana and surrounding states were blamed on the storm. Following Katrina, the Army Corps of Engineers started up a “multibillion-dollar hurricane-protection system that isn’t complete. The work included repairs and improvements to some 350 miles of levees and more than 70 pump stations that are used to remove floodwaters,” according to Fox.

The Mayor of New Orleans, LaToya Cantrell, stated that the storm’s heavy rains “will put an extreme test to the pumping system that drains the city’s streets,” according to Fox. The city is currently not planning on evacuating as the storm is not expected to transform to a major hurricane.

Stay tuned for more developments.

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Dean James at Right Wing Tribune

God Bless.

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