Louisiana declared an official state of emergency on Wednesday as a possible hurricane approaches its shores. Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation in the afternoon, according to a report by CBS News, mandating that the state make bracing for the storm its primary concern.
“This is going to be a Louisiana event with coastal flooding and heavy rainfall potentially impacting every part of the state. No one should take this storm lightly. As we know all too well in Louisiana, low intensity does not necessarily mean low impact,” Edwards said.
On Twitter, Edwards reiterated his statement, adding the latest projections for flooding, wind speed and rain fall in Louisiana.
I have issued a state of emergency today in preparation for the impact of the low-pressure system in the Gulf of Mexico. The system will likely produce storm surge, hurricane-force winds & up to 15 inches of rain across the state. #lagov #lalege #lawxJuly 10, 2019
As the storm builds in the Gulf of Mexico, many of these warnings are already coming true. Flooding in New Orleans began on Wednesday, and soon brought the city's traffic to a screeching halt. Experts are already worried that it could spill over the city's protective levees in the Mississippi River, and the worst has yet to come.
Forecasters believe that the massive storm will be upgraded to a tropical depression by Thursday morning. By Thursday night, they believe it will be a tropical depression, and on Friday a full on hurricane.
As it concentrates, the tendrils of this storm are already reaching far inland. Huge thunderstorms have battered the gulf coast, dropping up to seven inches of rain over New Orleans in a three-hour period. Experts warn that other nearby states are also at risk, particularly Mississippi and Texas.
In New Orleans, many streets have reportedly become steadily flowing rivers already, with the water level reaching up to the doors of many cars. Overturned garbage cans have spilled trash all over the city, and some vehicles were left abandoned as their owners slipped away. Local woman Chandris Rethmeyer explained how she ended up in 4-foot-deep water on her way home from work.
"I was going to sit in my car and let the storm pass," she CBS News. "But I reached back to get my son's iPad and put my hand into a puddle of water."0comments
By Wednesday afternoon, locals were reportedly getting around with canoes and kayaks in the streets rather than cars, and it may stay that way for a while. City officials said that nearly all of the local drainage systems were operational, but with this volume of water it could take a long time to clear the roadways.
Check back for updates on this developing storm system.