BATON ROUGE, La. - State agencies in Louisiana continued their flood preparation and response efforts on Wednesday. Updates on agency activities are below.
EMERGENCY DEC. REQUEST
The federal emergency declaration for the state has been amended to include the parishes of East Feliciana, Franklin, Lafourche, and Richland. FEMA said the seven other parishes that were requested and not included in this amendment have not been denied, but are under review pending further documentation of costs incurred in support of this event. The remaining seven parishes yet to be included are: Union, Morehouse, West Carroll, Ouachita, Lincoln, Caldwell and Evangeline.
FLOOD FIGHTING EFFORTS
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has 349 staff members and 261 trucks and equipment actively deployed in flood prevention efforts. The Louisiana National Guard deployed National Guard Liaison teams to 19 affected parishes in order to coordinate National Guard support to Parish efforts. In support of State and Parish requirements, we have approximately 1,150 Guardsmen mobilized for this event.
Today, the National Guard is providing aviation support to state officials in order to assess flooding following the opening of the Morganza Spillway. In support of St. Landry Parish and East Carroll Parish, LANG will support parish leadership to assess current and potential flooding impacts. The Louisiana National Guard is also providing 22 personnel to support GOHSEP's Individual Assistance Program. The team has linked with Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness and is currently training to prepare for future support to recovery phase operations.
Yesterday, Louisiana Guardsmen assisted in the identification of 20 new Sand or Pin Boils in Northeast Louisiana. Guardsmen have now located and flagged 163 Sand or Pin Boils to date: 69 in East Carroll Parish, three in Madison Parish, 23 in Tensas Parish, 68 in Concordia Parish.
DOTD is hauling 5,000 cubic yards of sand to Madison Parish Detention Center in Tallulah and then once filled, hauling sandbags to Tensas Parish for placement at multiple sand boil sites.
St. Landry Parish
- To date, DOTD has hauled an approximate total of 29,000 cubic yards of materials over the past week to Krotz Springs in support of flood protection efforts. That is enough material to cover an entire football field with 13.6 feet of material.
- Yesterday in Krotz Springs, Guardsmen completed the assisting the Parish and DOTD by installing 9,731 LF HESCO barrier. Crews will remain on site to maintain and fortify the project.
- National Guard teams continue to assist the Sheriff's office in conducting levee security operations.
St. Martin Parish
- DOTD is mobilizing resources to install approximately two miles of HESCOs in low lying locations along La. 70, north of Stephensville, in an effort to keep the roadway open during the pending flood event. DOTD will fortify both sides of a 1 miles stretch of roadway on La. 70 in St. Martin Parish.
- DOTD has granted an emergency permit to AT&T so they can install a cell phone antenna on the state's tower at Butte La Rose along I-10. AT&T's antenna will provide increased cell phone coverage in the Atchafalaya Basin for this flood event. AT&T's crews have started installing the equipment.
St. Mary Parish
- In support of St. Mary Parish, the Guard continues construction of approximately 25,500 feet of HESCO barrier in order to fortify and elevate levees to prevent backwater flooding in Morgan City and Amelia. Today, the LANG will continue construction and installation while working 24-hour operations.
- Morgan City worksite: Today, National Guard crews continue to conduct maintenance and repairs as needed on the 8,000 LF HESCO barrier emplaced.
- Amelia worksite: As of this morning, Guard crews have completed 9,800 LF of HESCO barrier. (97% Complete) (Total Project is 10,000 feet) Today, the LANG continues the construction and installation of this protection.
- Siracusaville (near Morgan City) worksite: To date, the Guard constructed and installed approximately 5,077 LF of HESCO barrier. Today, the Guard will continue installation of the 7,500 LF of HESCO barrier required to support Parish flood fighting efforts.
- Houma worksite: Today, National Guard crews will continue providing over watch security of the completed Tiger Tube installation around Greenwood Middle School and Bayou Black Elementary School.
- Bayou Black worksite: Yesterday, National Guard crews began construction and installation of Tiger Dam in the North Bayou Black area and completed 3,750 LF of the total 10,000 LF project (37% Complete). This project is designed to suppress backwater flooding. Today, Guard crews will continue the installation on this project and expect completion on May 19.
- DOTD transported 14,000 linear feet of tiger dam to Houma in Terrebonne Parish.
- To support Iberville Parish, Guardsmen are augmenting the Plaquemine Police Department to provide security for levees in Plaquemine (4 Soldiers and 2 ATVs).
- The Guard is also supporting the Iberville Sheriff's Office to restrict vehicle traffic on the East Atchafalaya Basin Levee from Bayou Sorrel Locks to Upper Grand River Landing (4 Soldiers and 2 ATVs).
- In Catahoula Parish, DOTD closed the south end of La. 3102, near Larto, because of backwater flooding.
- Yesterday, National Guard teams completed the construction of the Tiger Dam in support of Assumption Parish. Guardsmen constructed more than 9,350 feet of Tiger Dam to raise the height of levees in the vicinity of Pierre Part and Bayou L'ourse.
- Aben worksite (near Donaldsonville): Ascension Parish completed construction of sand bag berms and HESCO barriers to reinforce the levees system. National Guard assisted the parish by providing technical support and equipment to construct 3,195 LF of barrier to protect the community of Aben.
East Baton Rouge
- Northbound and Southbound outside lanes of US 190 Business (River Road) are closed until further notice, south of the Hollywood Casino entrance. One lane each direction will be open to through traffic. This is due to high water from the Mississippi River flood event.
- National Guard Soldiers continue to augment the Baton Rouge Police Department by conducting security patrols to secure the levee.
Sandbagging operations will continue Wednesday in Assumption (Dixon Correctional Institute supporting) and Iberville (Elayn Hunt Correctional Center supporting) parishes. 137 DOC offenders from Transitional Work Programs will participate in sandbagging operations on Wednesday in West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and Terrebonne parishes.
DOC offenders have provided the labor to fill more than 193,000 sandbags to date. Probation and Parole officers continue providing assistance to the Assumption Parish Sheriff's Office with community policing efforts, providing perimeter security for Dixon Correctional Institute and assisting with levee patrols (by boat) at the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola.
Last night, herds of 10-15 deer were coming out across Highway 190 at irregular intervals. Wildlife Division biologist called for assistance. DOTD put out deer crossing signs. Sheriffs, LDWF Enforcement and other enforcement entities helped slow traffic down to protect public and deer. Deer were staging on edge of Hwy. 190 prior to attempting to cross, then periodically would cross when traffic slowed.
LDWF has a Mobile Command Unit in Krotz Springs operating 24 hours a day, along with 205 agents,103 ATVs and 2 amphibious airplanes
DEQ has contacted 238 facilities with nuclear sources in the flood zone to ensure that they are making plans to secure these sources in the event that their facilities are flooded.
At Bayou Chene, 605 linear feet of sheet pile has been put in place and driven as of this morning. The contractor will drive the remaining 40 feet of sheet pile on the West side to complete the project today.
DNR reports that 117 out of 124 or 94% of the producing wells located within the Atchafalaya Basin have been reported shut-in.
For emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.