LA Emergency Preparedness Officials Watching Ida

Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 4:21pm

BATON ROUGE – The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) continues to track Hurricane Ida as it approaches the Gulf of Mexico. GOHSEP’s Crisis Action Team (CAT) has been activated since Friday and state officials continue to hold conference calls daily with Southeast Louisiana Offices of Emergency Preparedness officials and the National Weather Service (NWS).

While the storm is not expected to make landfall in Louisiana, the National Weather Service (NWS) forecasts that Hurricane Ida could be upgraded to a Category 2 before it reaches cooler waters in the northern Gulf and downgraded to a tropical storm. As of right now, the NWS is predicting landfall potentially along the coast of Alabama and Florida with some impact to Southeast Louisiana. The southeast portion of the state is expected to get tropical storm force winds and rain which could result in coastal parish flooding for low lying areas. As a result of the forecast and the possibility that the situation could change, Governor Bobby Jindal has directed the following:

* As a precautionary measure, a State of Emergency will be declared in the event State resources are required to assist impacted parishes to ensure the safety and security of Southeast Louisiana.
* Both the Louisiana National Guard (LANG) and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have been placed on a high state of alert and have hurricane response plans in place. They have equipment and vehicles pre-positioned across the state and have identified personnel that can be called up quickly as needed.
* The Louisiana State Police has activated its emergency operations and placed all troopers in southeastern Louisiana on telephone stand-by status. They have also reached out to all law enforcement and emergency officials in the area to maintain open communications and are performing status checks on all equipment and towers for optimum levels of performance.

* The State's Emergency Operations Center will be activated at a Level 3 to include 24-hour staffing of key state agencies with primary support functions based on hurricane plans.

GOHSEP Director Mark Cooper says, “We are in constant contact with the National Weather Service as well as emergency officials in those areas that could be affected in the event they need assistance. State agencies have been placed on a high state of alert in the event support is needed at the local level. Citizens in these areas are directed to monitor their local news and reports from the National Weather Service and local emergency officials for up to date information.”

For more information on how to keep you and your family safe from all hazards, go to http://www.getagameplan.org.