BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards said during a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 15 Hurricane Sally will likely not have as dire of an impact on Louisiana as forecasters originally thought just two days ago.
Gov. Edwards said the estimated rainfall totals in Louisiana from Sally decreased “dramatically” Tuesday, but flooding from storm surge remained a concern in low-lying areas of the state’s southeast coast, like Grand Isle.
He said while Sally’s eastern shift was “good news” for Louisiana, it meant “bad news” for neighboring states. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sally was expected to make landfall near the Mississippi/Alabama state line as a Category 1 hurricane late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Sept. 16.
See the governor’s full comments in the video below.
Gov. Edwards said he has spoken with governors of both states and Louisiana would be able to offer personnel and equipment to help with search and rescue and disaster relief efforts, if needed.
The governor announced the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) has calculated the monetary loss to the state’s agriculture and forests from Hurricane Laura to be $1.6 billion. He said Laura caused $525 million in crop losses and $1.1 billion in damage to 750,000 acres of timber in the southwestern and northern parts of the state.
Gov. Edwards said nearly 13,000 evacuees from southwest Louisiana are currently being sheltered in hotels, the vast majority in New Orleans. He also said 5,300 Louisiana residents were being sheltered in Texas hotels.
The governor said Texas officials are asking those evacuees who can now safely return home to do so. He clarified that meant evacuated residents who now have electricity and water and the damage to their homes is not too extensive.
Louisiana residents who are sheltered in Texas can call 1-888-991-5229 for more information.
Gov. Edwards announced anyone living an eligible parish could apply by phone for Disaster SNAP, also known as DSNAP, benefits, regardless of their last name beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16 by calling 1-888-LAHELPU.
The governor ended his news conference by urging residents to continue to practice COVID-19 mitigation measures and to be considerate of people in the vulnerable population.
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