BATON ROUGE - State agencies continue their efforts to fight and prepare for flooding in communities across Louisiana. Updates from individual agencies are below.
On Wednesday, St. Martin parish issued a mandatory evacuation order for Butte LaRose and Happy Town, effective Saturday at 8 a.m. The parish estimates 1,330 people already evacuated from the area. In St. Landry parish, areas in Krotz Springs have been under mandatory evacuation order and the parish has estimated 2,019 people evacuated.
Louisiana State Police is coordinating with St. Martin Parish Sheriff's Office for patrol and road closure points leading up to the mandatory evacuations in Butte La Rose, Happy Town, and Sherburne Wildlife Management Area Saturday morning.
FLOOD FIGHTING EFFORTS
The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority reports that one million sandbags have been distributed across Louisiana.
To date, DOTD has delivered 129,421 sandbags, 26,914 cubic yards of sand, 20,713 cubic yards of RAP, and 6,894 cubic yard of dirt/fill across the state in support of flood protection efforts.
In support of State and Parish requirements, the Louisiana National Guard has approximately 1,150 Guardsmen mobilized for this emergency. The Louisiana National Guard has identified 16 new Sand or Pin Boils northeast Louisiana. Guardsmen have located and flagged 179 Sand or Pin Boils to date: 72 in East Carroll Parish, 3 in Madison Parish, 35 in Tensas Parish and 69 in Concordia Parish
- DOTD granted an emergency permit allowing MCI to place its cables across state bridges along U.S. 190 as a precaution in case its underground network system is impacted by the flood waters in the Morganza Spillway. This will help to ensure continued coverage for MCI's customers in the flood zone.
- DOTD hauled an additional 148 cubic yards of sand in stabilization efforts on the south Morganza Floodway guide levee. To date, DOTD has hauled 1,378 cubic yards of sand to help fight the seepage that is starting to occur in this area.
- DOTD will provide traffic control for the Corps as they measure flow volumes on the US 190 Morganza Floodway Bridge. The Corps will continue to need periodic lane closures every day for the next 2 weeks to perform this function to measure flow entering the spillway at US 190.
- DOTD completed a flood protection barrier along La. 70 in low areas in Assumption Parish, approximately 5 miles north of Pierre Part. DOTD hauled and placed approximately 500 linear feet of HESCO baskets and 151 supersacks to complete this project.
- DOTD completed an additional flood protection barrier along La. 663 in Assumption Parish by installing 100 linear feet of HESCO baskets.
St. Mary Parish
- The National Guard completed the 8,064 LF of HESCO barrier in Morgan City.
- As of this morning, National Guard crews completed 10,000 LF of HESCO barrier in Amelia. Yesterday, the National Guard completed the installation of 7,500 LF of HESCO barrier in Siracusaville.
- In support of parish law enforcement, the LANG is providing 30 personnel with 6 vehicles to establish and maintain traffic control points at 6 boat rams along the levee.
- DOTD is in the process of hauling 5,500 cubic yards of sand to be bagged and then hauled to Tensas Parish for placement at multiple sand boil sites.
- Yesterday, National Guard crews began construction and installation of Tiger Dams in the North Bayou Black area and completed 8,000 LF of the total 10,000 LF project. This project is designed to suppress backwater flooding. Today, Guard crews will continue the installation on this project and expect to complete it today.
West Baton Rouge
- Yesterday, LANG provided an all-terrain forklift vehicle to assist the West Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office's sandbagging operation. This forklift will remain on site until mission completion.
Because of rising floodwaters, many animals have been displaced from their normal habitats. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has 205 enforcement agents and 27 wildlife staff on duty and they staged a Mobile Command Unit in Krotz Springs, in addition to deploying 103 all terrain vehicles and two amphibious airplanes.
LDWF continues to track and respond to reports of wildlife as necessary. In total, there have been eight reported bear sightings, including two in an area where bears typically are not found. The Louisiana Black Bear remains on the threatened and endangered species list. For assistance with black bears that may be forced into populated areas by flood waters, LDWF asks the public call 1-800-442-2511 toll free.
Deer continue to cross Highway 190 where it intersects with the protection levee in Lottie. Louisiana State Police, working with the Department of Transportation and Development, reduced the speed limit in this area to 45 MPH because of deer crossing. In addition, alligators and a large numbers of wild turkeys have been observed on the levee in Tensas Parish.
For assistance with these, or any other wildlife species, that endanger human health or safety, call the following LDWF field offices at:
- Baton Rouge 225-765-2800
- Hammond 985-543-4777
- Monroe 318-343-4044
- New Iberia 337-373-0032
- Opelousas 337-948-0255
- Pineville 318-487-5885
Department of Children and Family Services
- DCFS confirmed there is one independent shelter in the Palmetto area in St. Landry Parish being run by a local church. As of noon, Wednesday, May 18, there are 14 people in the shelter. Red Cross is in contact with the shelter and offered resources, but the shelter has not requested state assistance.
- Currently, no Red Cross or state shelters have opened.
Department of Corrections
- DOC offenders have provided the labor to fill approximately 219,000 sandbags to date. Sandbagging operations will continue Thursday in Iberville Parish (Elayn Hunt Correctional Center supporting with 12 offenders and two officers) parish. J. Levy Dabadie Correctional Center is sending 20 offenders and two officers to assist with sandbagging/sandboil operations in Tensas parish (Newellton).
- 137 DOC offenders from Transitional Work Programs will participate in sandbagging operations on Thursday in West Baton Rouge, Pointe Coupee and Terrebonne parishes.
Department of Education
Three schools have closed for the remainder of the school year: Stephensville Elementary in St. Martin, the Louisiana School for the Deaf and the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired, which are both only miles from the levee in Baton Rouge.