NEW ORLEANS — The Latest on Louisiana’s preparations for Hurricane Harvey (all times local):
While Texas will most likely bear the brunt of an approaching Hurricane Harvey, bands of rain from the storm have been sweeping over parts of Louisiana. Flood warnings have been issued along some southwest Louisiana rivers with forecasters saying some low-lying roads and recreational areas are threatened. And officials worry that rain could last for several days, raising worries of more serious flooding.
The slow-moving storm’s unpredictable long-term path had the attention of both state and local officials.
Official calls for evacuations were issued Friday in parts of Cameron and Vermilion parishes where forecasters say rainfall totals could approach 15 to 20 inches over the next seven days.
Rainfall projections for New Orleans are lower. But officials urged vigilance there, noting that a change in the storm’s track could increase flood dangers.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards says he has spoken to his Texas counterpart and offered to provide assistance with “any additional resources they need, in terms of personnel or assets.”
Edwards said during a Friday press briefing that he spoke to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday. Edwards also said he talked Thursday evening with President Donald Trump. He said Trump wanted to make sure Louisiana’s needs for assistance were being met.
Edwards said the “greatest risk” for Louisiana is “complacency” given the hurricane’s uncertain path after landfall in Texas.
Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter agreed Friday, saying it would be a mistake for Louisiana residents to think Harvey is only a problem for Texas.
Officials in Vermilion Parish on Louisiana’s coast have called for a voluntary evacuation as Hurricane Harvey heads for landfall in nearby Texas.
Rebecca Broussard, director of Vermilion Parish’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said approximately 10,000 residents live in the rural part of the parish covered by Friday’s voluntary evacuation order.
Earlier, a mandatory evacuation was ordered for southern Cameron Parish, a coastal parish at the Texas state line, to the west of Vermilion. That order affects an estimated 3,500 people.
Also, the City Council in the southwest Louisiana city of Sulphur declared a state of emergency Friday morning, in preparation for possible flooding rains from Harvey.
Authorities in a coastal Louisiana parish near the Texas state line have ordered a mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Harvey’s landfall.
Ashley Buller of the Cameron Parish emergency office says the evacuation was ordered early Friday for points south of the Intracoastal Waterway. Chief Deputy Chris Savoie of the Cameron Parish Sheriff’s Office said the evacuation covers about 3,500 residents in the rural parish.
Lori Boullion (BOOL’-yahn), who works at a Cameron feed and grocery store, says people who live in campers have headed north. And livestock trucks lined the road outside the store as cattle owners shipped their animals to higher ground farther north.
The possibility of heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey is bad news for farmers hoping to harvest their rice crop.
Harvey was expected to hit the Texas coast late Friday or Saturday. Long-term, there was a danger that it might linger or move slowly toward Louisiana, bringing torrential rains.
Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an emergency declaration to prepare for the storm. Officials have urged vigilance from southwest Louisiana to New Orleans, where recent flash floods revealed problems with the city’s drainage system.
LSU’s Agricultural Center says Harvey threatens a 2017 rice crop already plagued by various weather problems. In Calcasieu Parish, the center says, about 80 percent of the crop is in. But farmers in the Vinton area have been unable to harvest and the rain could mean more delays.