Carol Forsloff – Mitch Landrieu, Mayor of New Orleans has recently announced an emergency situation in New Orleans, in anticipation of Tropical Storm Lee’s arrival through the Gulf Coast this weekend. Governor Bobby Jindal has reiterated warnings for citizens to be vigilant and prepared in 10 Louisiana parishes.
In a take-charge presentation, Landrieu tells New Orleans residents that nursing home residents and other vulnerable populations will be cared for and that key agencies are preparing themselves to deal with any emergencies caused by anticipated flooding. Weather experts anticipate 20 inches of potential flood waters in areas of the city.
Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency for 10 of Louisiana parishes. The Governor’s office issued a press release from Jindal where he observes,, “”This storm system is currently parked in the Gulf, meaning we expect it to drop a significant amount of rain totaling 10 to 15 inches in some areas and up to 20 inches in isolated areas. The system is expected to affect South and Southeast Louisiana with the most rainfall, however many areas that are susceptible to backwater flooding are also expected to be impacted by the high rainfall.
“The National Weather Service told us that the center of this storm system is very broad, unlike the narrow center you see in a hurricane formation. This is what they call a ‘hybrid’ system with rain and some bands of tropical storm force winds with squalls spinning out of the center. Rainfall is expected in Louisiana through Tuesday night, including some tropical storm force winds and the potential for tornadoes. Tides could be 2 to 5 feet higher than normal.”
The following parishes are under a state of emergency as the storm is poised to strike the coast. These are: 10 parishes have already issued their own declarations, including:
• St Charles
• St John
• St. Tammany
Much concern has been voiced about the status of New Orleans levees as it faces new flooding threats. In May the New Orleans Times-Picayune wrote that the levees have a failing grade if river floods are greater than the design heights of the Mississippi River levees and levees on both the east and west banks of the city.
While officials believe the new pumping system and other protections will ensure the safety of the city from the type of flooding that occurred following Hurricane Katrina, Levees. Org. remains watchful. The advocacy group continues to highlight the major problems of levee construction and stabilization for the United and as critical for the city’s long-term safety, even as a storm is imminent that may not impact New Orleans with the level of severity occurring after Hurricane Katrina.