BATON ROUGE, LA (KPLC) - Governor Bobby Jindal put state assets on alert Sunday by declaring a state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Debby, and well ahead of any certainty on the weather system's impact.
Jindal made the declaration as tropical storm warnings were issued Saturday from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City.
While the terminology may sound ominous, declarations similar to this one are normally made by elected officials in advance of major storm systems in order to open channels of communication between state and federal resources. Early declarations by state officials often speed up the process of receiving aid from FEMA and other agencies.
The following is a press release from Governor Bobby Jindal's office:
Governor Jindal Declares State of Emergency for Tropical Storm Debby
BATON ROUGE - Today, Governor Bobby Jindal issued the following executive proclamation declaring a state of emergency as a result of the forecasted conditions of Tropical Storm Debby.
STATE OF EMERGENCY – TROPICAL STORM DEBBY
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or manmade causes, in order to ensure that preparations of this State will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, when the Governor determines that a disaster or emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, R.S. 29:724(B)(1) empowers him to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation;
WHEREAS, on Saturday, June 23rd, the National Weather Service upgraded the tropical disturbance "Invest AL96" to "Tropical Storm Debby" and issued a tropical storm warning in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River to Morgan City;
WHEREAS, as of 9 a.m. today, Tropical Storm Debby is located approximately 170 miles southeast of the mouth of the Mississippi River with modeling that indicates the possibility of incremental strengthening and a continued northwest path toward the State through Sunday, June 24th, followed by a westward path parallel to the coast until landfall in southern Texas;
WHEREAS, the imminent threat of tropical storm conditions creating the potential for heavy rainfall in coastal parishes, coastal flooding and flash flooding in coastal and inland parishes caused by Tropical Storm Debby as it tracks westward off the coast of Louisiana creates a threat to the lives and property of the citizens of the State and justifies emergency protective measures to guard against such threats;
NOW THEREFORE I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency is declared to exist in the State of Louisiana as a result of emergency conditions created by TS Debby that threaten the lives and property of the citizens of the State.
SECTION 2: The Director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is hereby authorized to undertake any activity authorized by law which he deems necessary and appropriate in response to this declaration.
SECTION 3: The state of emergency extends for thirty (30) days from Sunday, June 24, 2012 through Tuesday, July 24, 2012, unless terminated sooner.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 24th day of June, 2012.