From the OFFICE of the GOVERNOR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2018
Contact: govpress@la.gov

Gov. Edwards Declares State of Emergency Due to Winter Weather

Baton Rouge - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an Emergency Declaration due to the freezing precipitation and low temperatures throughout Louisiana. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOSHEP), Dept. of Transportation and Development (DOTD) and other state agencies have been activated in response to this emergency. 

“The weather conditions are extremely dangerous, and while it may be tempting to venture outside, it is critical that everyone stay off the frozen highways and streets and heed all state and local warnings in order to be safe,” said Gov. Edwards. “Parts of all major interstates in Louisiana have closed because of the icy conditions and unfortunately, one life has already been claimed by this extreme weather. Our state Crisis Action Team and DOTD have been working around the clock responding to emergencies, salting roadways and providing resources to those who need assistance. Until the freezing temperatures lift, I urge everyone to take the necessary precautions, remember to check on people, pets and pipes, and stay warm and remain patient.”   

The winter weather has caused major road closures throughout the state. DOTD began salting and pre-treating roads in northern districts on Monday evening and Tuesday morning in the southern districts and continues those operationsContinue monitoring www.511La.org for updates on roadways and other important information.

“The disruption and danger of extreme weather conditions like we are experiencing cannot be underestimated” said Dr. Shawn Wilson, DOTD Secretary. “In addition to major closings of interstates across Louisiana, we have seen hundreds of vehicle accidents, including 18 wheeler accidents and even a death. Drivers should heed our call to stay put until the all clear is issued.”

DOTD facts:

  • 1,204 employees have been deployed for 24 hour operations.
  • 134,600 hits to www.511La.org (which typically gets 2,500 hit per day).
  • 1.5 Million pounds of salt have been used on roadways statewide.
  • 25 Dump trucks.
  • 236 trucks with spreaders/sprayers.
  • 5 airports have been closed.

GOHSEP activated its Crisis Action Team on Tuesday. The State Fire Marshall’s Office reminds everyone to use caution when operating space heaters or any other heating source in their homes. When using any type of heating source, whether it is a space heater or fireplace, homeowners should incorporate a “three-foot rule,” where there should be a space of at least three feet between a heating source and any combustibles such as furniture and décor. Ovens or open flame sources, such as candles, should never be used to heat homes.   

Click here to read the Emergency Declaration. 

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