Louisiana News

Louisiana Gov. Edwards requests federal disaster declaration as Cristobal approaches

(The Center Square) – Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Cristobal’s expected landfall this weekend.
On Friday afternoon, Edwards said he would request a federal emergency declaration.
Cristobal briefly weakened into a depression as it passed over Mexico before strengthening as it re-emerged in the Gulf of Mexico. It is not expected to reach hurricane strength.
The storm brings the threat of flash flooding and storm surge. Up to six inches of rain could fall in much of the state and between six and 10 inches are possible in southeast Louisiana. Bands of rain that settle in a particular area could dump up to 15 inches, Edwards said.
The governor has not issued an evacuation order. If evacuations are necessary, state government plans to put some people in hotels so as not to crowd too many evacuees in one place where the risk of spreading COVID-19 would be high.
Edwards touched on several topics during his Friday news briefing. He said 619 COVID-19 patients were in Louisiana hospitals, the lowest total since March 25. Officials reported 29 new deaths, bringing the confirmed total to 2,801. Almost 42,000 cases have been reported since the pandemic began, and officials believe almost 32,000 of those patients have recovered.
Edwards defended police use of tear gas in New Orleans Wednesday night to disperse protestors attempting to cross the Crescent City Connection bridge. He refused to comment on the words or actions of President Donald Trump in response to protests spurred by the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
Edwards said the “overwhelming majority” of protests in Louisiana have been “peaceful and nonviolent.”
“The people of Louisiana are expressing their concerns and exercising their rights in ways that are appropriate,” he said.
Edwards urged anyone planning to demonstrate in the coming days to be mindful of the weather and the ongoing pandemic. He encouraged wearing masks and maintaining physical distance from other protesters as much as possible, and urged anyone in a high-risk group for COVID-19 and anyone who lives with or cares for someone vulnerable to be especially cautious.
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