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Louisiana Preparing for Whatever Hurricane Harvey May Bring

Sue Lincoln

The best guesstimates of science show Hurricane Harvey headed toward Texas, but just in case…

“I have signed a statewide emergency declaration in preparation for Hurricane Harvey and its impacts on Louisiana,” Governor John Bel Edwards announced Thursday afternoon.

Harvey is expected to make landfall near Corpus Christi Saturday morning, but Edwards says Louisiana will be affected.

“Even with that projected path, the outer bands of rain associated with this storm will drop heavy rains on Louisiana,” the governor explained, following a meeting with the state’s Crisis Action Team. “In southwest Louisiana, we’re expecting 7 to 10 inches of rain; in central and south central Louisiana 5 to 7 inches of rain; and the ground is relatively saturated already.”

That means flooding – both coastal and inland – is a very real possibility.

The governor also says several computer models predict Harvey doing a loop-de-loop before going too far inland in Texas, and heading back into the Gulf to recharge.

“That is a possibility that the National Weather Service warned us about. But there is some precedent for this happening – I think it was Allison?” he said.

In June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison came ashore in Texas, moved north a bit, then looped back down to the Gulf as a remnant. While there, she spun back up again and moved east, making landfall over Morgan City. Houston received 40-inches of rain from that event, while over the eight days of her lifecycle, Allison dropped between 10 and 30 inches of rain on south Louisiana.

The governor says with that possibility in mind, Harvey could be bringing us a long wet spell.

“It may not be until late Sunday or Monday – potentially as late as Tuesday of next week – before the maximum impacts will be on the state of Louisiana.”

In the meantime, he suggests citizens stock up and stay informed.

“I always ask people to prepare and to pray. And in this case, we should pray not just for ourselves, but also for our neighbors in Texas.”