Governor

Thousands of Calcasieu Parish residents are still cleaning up and trying to recover from Hurricane Laura six weeks ago. The last thing they need?

Hurricane Delta.

That’s exactly the situation, as a mandatory evacuation has been issued for Calcasieu Parish ahead of another strong hurricane that will make landfall just to the east of Lake Charles, according to the latest models released by the National Hurricane Center.

“Let us not forget that Southwest Louisiana is still recovering from Laura,” Gov. John Bel Edwards said.  “There are still a lot of structures with significant damage, and despite tremendous efforts by local officials and the state, there remains a lot of debris. As strong winds impact that area, debris can create an additional problem.

“Stay weather aware. Pay attention to you news sources. Pay attention to The Weather Channel. Pay attention to the directions given by your local officials,” Edwards said Wednesday afternoon.

An emergency declaration has been filed by the governor with the White House and President Trump is keeping an eye on the storm. Local officials wasted no time in issuing the mandatory evacuation Wednesday evening, considering so many resident across the parish are still in precarious position from Laura, whether it’s homes still damaged or residents living in temporary housing.

The wind speeds can reach as high as 100 miles per hour in the Lake Charles area, which again, creates a dangerous situation for homes that have already been damaged.

Gov. Edwards has also made preparations to help residents in the “landfall cone” that reaches from east of Lake Charles to Lafayette. Those likely parishes to be affected in addition to Calcasieu are Jeff Davis, Acadia, Vermilion, Lafayette, Allen, Cameron, Iberia, St. Martin, St. Landry, St. Mary and Evangeline.

“The National Guard has more than 1,300 guardsmen activated in support of emergency operations,” Edwards said. “They have positioned high water vehicles, boats and aircraft to provide search and rescue support following the storm.”

The governor reiterated that he was very concerned that the five-parish area that was hit hardest by Hurricane Laura in late August are within the cone according to the latest track.

Landfall for Hurricane Delta is expected some time Friday evening, with hurricane force winds beginning to impact the Louisiana coast Friday afternoon.

The storm is very large and will dump plenty of rainfall on most of Louisiana as it heads northeast toward Mississippi Saturday.