BATON ROUGE, L.A. – Governor John Edwards of Louisiana, and other state officials, spoke with media Thursday about how the state is preparing for Tropical Storm Nate.
The National Hurricane Center, along with multiple future-cast, show the storm making land fall along states in the Gulf Coast.
“Everyone in southeast Louisiana should start preparing for this storm now,” said Governor Edwards.
Edwards spoke a lot about flooding in his press conference, and cautioned people to use government resources available online. He also said that he will be deploying 13,000 National Guard troops, and sending 15 of them to New Orleans to manage the pumps that the city has in place to control flooding.
As for his concern of significant flooding to New Orleans, Edwards said, “I’m not going to say that I’m not concerned, but I’m not unduly or overly concerned at this moment.”
The storm at the moment is making its way past Nicaragua, and officials say that Tropical Storm Nate should start to affect the Gulf Coast in some capacity by Saturday.
Edwards said in his press conference that tropical storm and possibly hurricane force winds could be felt as early as Saturday, and that at the moment, projections between three to six inches of rain, and storm surges between four to six feet above ground level are being forecast.
“There is no guarantee that this will be a category one when it makes landfall,” said Edwards. “As I mentioned before rapid, intensification is possible, because when this storm enters the gulf and starts traveling over super heated waters causes intensification. Anyone who is taking this storm lightly is making a serious mistake.”
Edwards said that there is already a mandatory evacuation for St. Bernard Parish, and a voluntary evacuation for Grand Island.
St. Bernard Parish is outside of the “Hurricane Protected” area, which is why it is being evacuated, said Edwards.
Even though Nate is only a tropical storm at the moment, the National Hurricane Center is expecting for the storm to intensify into a hurricane as it makes its way north .
Edwards said that he and other state officials are preparing for the storm and will speak Friday afternoon in an update on the storm.