Louisiana News

Tropical storm warning issued from central Louisiana to western Florida as Cristobal approaches

(The Center Square) – Forecasters expect tropical storm-force winds along the northern Gulf Coast by late Saturday night as Cristobal makes its way toward southeast Louisiana.
The National Hurricane Center has issued a tropical storm warning for the area from central Louisiana to the western Florida panhandle. Life-threatening storm surge is predicted from the mouth of the Mississippi River to Ocean Springs, Mississippi, forecasters said Saturday afternoon.
Tropical Storm Cristobal is expected to make landfall Sunday. Heavy rainfall is expected to continue across west and north Florida on Saturday, spreading from east to west across the eastern and central Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle into Louisiana, forecasters said.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has asked the federal government to issue a pre-landfall emergency for the state, though the federal declaration had not yet been issued as of 4:30 p.m. local time Saturday.
Edwards has issued an emergency declaration for the state and more than two dozen parishes have followed suit or are preparing to do so.
“We are confident that there will be widespread, heavy rainfall and coastal flooding,” Edwards said Friday. “I anticipate the need for emergency protective measures, evacuations, and sheltering for the high-risk areas.”
Due to the risk of COVID-19 transmission, potential sheltering likely would include hotels to avoid putting too many people in the same building, Edwards said. State officials are hoping for federal help to pay for putting families up in private rooms.
Louisiana suffered one of the worst COVID-19 outbreaks in the nation, and public health officials say the state still has almost 11,000 confirmed cases. Louisiana state agencies have spent about $475 million battling the pandemic, which hinders the state’s ability to fund additional measures to address subsequent disasters and emergencies, the Edwards administration has said.
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