BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Gov. John Bel Edwards continues to advise the public to stay alert for Tropical Storm Gordon following a noon news conference.
Earlier Tuesday, the Louisiana governor met with the Unified Command Group (UCG) to discuss updates on Tropical Storm Gordon. In that meeting, officials learned the latest track of Gordon appears to show Louisiana being sparred of the worst of the storm.
However, Edwards said in Tuesday’s press conference that Gordon is still a dangerous storm.
On Monday, Edwards signed a statewide emergency declaration in anticipation of Gordon as well as activate 200 guardsmen. Edwards also authorized an additional 150 Guardsmen to assist as needed.
So far, nine parishes have declared emergencies, Edwards said.
Edwards said to still expect high winds along the east of I-55 and winds of 40 to 75 mph. He also said to prepare for a strong storm surge in parts of south Louisiana of 1 to 4 feet.
“It’s critically important for everyone to remain vigilant because the storm could shift back in our direction before it makes landfall. It also could strength further as it continues to cross the Gulf of Mexico,” Edwards said in the press conference.
The Louisiana Dept of Education has been monitoring school closures of the public school systems throughout the last 24 hours. As of Tuesday, 12 school districts are closed today across the state.
Commissioner of Higher Education Kim Hunter Reed also provided an update on campus closures. She said as of Tuesday morning, six LSU AgCenter locations are closed. Three university campuses announced canceling class. The University of New Orleans closed at 2 p.m., Southeastern Louisiana University closed at 3:30 p.m. and Nicholls State University closes at 4:30 p.m.
“We encourage our students in our campus community to monitor the weather as the governor mentioned, make sure you have a game plan and that you do not take this lightly,” Reed said during the press conference.
General Glenn Curtis of the Louisiana National Guard said high-water vehicles and boats have been placed in Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Washington, Tangipahoa parishes. In addition, helicopters on standby in Hammond that can do search and rescue.
Other vehicles are also staged in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Lake Charles, according to Curtis. The guard will start staging in Northeast Louisiana as the storm starts moving in that direction.