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Aug 28, 2012
Governor Jindal Outlines Preparations, Urges Federal Government to Issue Full Disaster Declaration

BATON ROUGE – Governor Bobby Jindal held a Unified Command Group meeting this morning and then a press conference where he outlined the steps taken in preparation for Hurricane Isaac and urged the federal government to grant a full disaster declaration.

Governor Jindal said, “According to the National Weather Service, the storm appears to be slowing and getting better organized.  Tropical Storm winds have started in Plaquemines Parish and there have been tropical storm gusts in New Orleans.  Tropical storm winds will start to spread into Baton Rouge today.  Again, as we said yesterday, this storm is moving slowly so we expect to see tropical storm winds for 24 hours in most locations and some locations will have sustained tropical winds for up to 36 hours.  Areas in the direct path of the storm will experience hurricane force winds for between 6 to 10 hours. Additionally, the slow movement of the storm means a greater chance of heavy rain.  The forecast shows between 10 to 16 inches of rainfall expected.  There is also a chance of tornadoes today and tomorrow.

“Yesterday the President granted a limited disaster declaration for the state that provides for direct federal assistance.  However, the limited declaration does not provide for reimbursement of expenses that the state and local governments are taking to prepare for the storm.  In response to the President’s action, we sent a letter yesterday requesting a full declaration.  We have learned from past experiences that you cannot wait and you have to push the federal bureaucracy.  We think it’s important to be aggressive and do everything we can to protect our people and our property.”

STATE AGENCY/PARISH UPDATE:

A number of parishes and areas have declared a mandatory evacuation, including:
  • Jefferson – Grand Isle, Town of Jean Lafitte, Crown Point, and Barataria
  • Lafourche – South of Leon Theriot Floodgates, including Golden Meadow and Port Fourchon
  • Plaquemines – East Bank, Central Bank and West Bank (including Ironton south to Venice)
  • St. Charles – Parish wide evacuation effective 6pm Sunday
  • Tangipahoa – South of Weinberger and Wadesboro including Lee’s Landing
  • St. Bernard – Outside the Levee Protection System effective 4:00PM, Monday
  • St. James – For all mobile homes, flood prone and low lying areas
  • Assumption – Precautionary evacuation for the entire parish effective Monday afternoon
Additionally, a number of parishes and areas have asked for voluntary evacuations, including:
  • Tangipahoa – South of Hwy 22 effective at noon Monday
  • Terrebonne – Low lying areas
  • Lafourche – Entire parish other than those in the mandatory area
  • St. John – Low lying areas
  • Livingston – Parish wide
  • St. Tammany – Low lying areas
28 school districts are closed today, with 31 likely closed tomorrow.

So far, 41 parishes have declared states of emergency. They are:

Acadia, Allen, Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Cameron, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Iberia, Iberville, Jefferson, Jefferson Davis, Lafourche, LaSalle, Livingston, Madison, Morehouse, Natchitoches, Orleans, Ouachita, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee, Rapides, St Bernard, St Charles, St Helena, St James, St John, St. Landry, St. Martin, St. Mary, St Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, Vermillion, Washington, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

AGENCY UPDATES

LANG
  • LANG has requested Title 32 authorization from the Pentagon to provide more support.
  • We have activated 4,158 Soldiers and Airmen to support the response effort.  
  • LANG has provided 67 bus drivers to support DODT and DOE.
  • 23 LANG Liaison Officer Teams have reported to parishes in the storm warning areas.
  • Assisting DHH and DCFS yesterday, Guardsmen assembled 2,500 cots in Rapides Parish and 225 cots at the LSU Field House in Baton Rouge.
  • The LANG delivered a 100-kilowatt generator to St. Margaret Nursing Home in New Orleans.
  • The LANG has 48 boat teams deploying to designated pre-storm locations, as well as 8 engineer work teams.
  • The LANG currently has 921 Security and Command and Control Vehicles, 503 High Water Vehicles, 74 boats and 40 aircraft available to respond as necessary before, during and after the possible landfall of the storm.
  • Property Damage Assessment flights will begin on Friday.
  • 15 PODS are available today and 30 will be available tomorrow as early as tomorrow.  Each POD can feed 5,000 people.  We are working with parishes to identify locations.
DCFS
  • As of this morning, there were approximately 7,500 available beds at state-run Critical Transportation Need (CTN) shelters, and 779 Medical Special Needs (MSN) beds available in state shelters.  
  • The current population at all state-run shelters (both CTN and MSN) was 530 evacuees.
  • At that time, there were 443 evacuees at the Alexandria mega-shelter, 16 evacuees at the Jewella shelter in Shreveport and 71 medical special needs evacuees (48 patients & 23 caregivers) at the LSU Field House.  Numbers at these shelters are going up slowly.
  • There are an estimated 851 evacuees located at other parish run and Red Cross shelters around the state.  
  • Of those, 761 were at parish-run shelters in impacted areas, and 90 were located at Red Cross shelters around the state.  More shelters are opening up today.
  • Over 3,000 calls were made to 211 yesterday.
  • At the state run CTN shelters, the following amenities are on-hand to handle evacuees on site.  We continue to add more to be fully prepared for full shelters.  By 10:30 p.m. tonight, we will be at full-strength with amenities.
  • DCFS will pre-load September food stamp benefits starting on Saturday for those who already qualify for the program.
LDWF
  • FEMA Deployed Texas 1 – USAR team in Alexandria to assist with search and rescue.
  • Fire Marshal has 300 person USAR team in 6 teams moving to Baton Rouge to assist with search and rescue.
  • The Enforcement Division has activated more than 200 agents with vessels and has agents in every Emergency Operations Center.
  • The Alpha search and rescue (SAR) team, working with the Coast Guard and National Guard, has more than 100 agents with vessels is staging equipment and personnel at Woodworth and Baton Rouge today.  
  • The Bravo SAR team, which is also comprised of more than 100 agents with vessels, will stage at Woodworth and Baton Rouge immediately after the Alpha team is deployed, if needed.
  • LDWF put neighboring states on notice that it may need additional SAR team reserves.
LA DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS
  • Preparations are completed at LDVA Veterans Homes and facilities are ready to shelter-in-place.
  • LDVA vans and buses from the Monroe and Bossier City Veterans Homes are staged at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve to be used in case they are needed.  
DIVISION OF ADMINISTRATION
  • DOA announced state office closures for today and Wednesday in 22 parishes, and will monitor conditions, working with GOHSEP, State Police, and DOTD, to make a determination about any further office closures.
  • OGB has issued an emergency memo and taken steps to offer special prescription drug and healthcare assistance to members impacted by Isaac.
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS
  • 100 Sheriffs Deputies are ready to deploy and an additional 300 can be made ready for deployment.
  • 20 inmates in 2 crews are filling sandbags for Iberville.
  • Scheduled offender movements from local-level jails are complete. DOC remains ready to assist parish jails should the need arise.
  • DOC has 5 trucks with 92 kennels each to assist evacuees with pets.
  • Approximately 2,124 offenders were evacuated from southeastern/coastal Louisiana (Orleans, Terrebonne, Plaquemines, St. Bernard) ahead of Isaac’s landfall.  
LSP/DPS
  • Troop B:  St Charles Parish - Troopers are advising motorists of the detour route due to the installation of hesco baskets on US Hwy 90.  US Hwy 90 is closed at Interstate 310 on the west side and Live Oak Street on the east side.
  • Troop B:  Plaquemine Parish - Troopers are advising motorists of the LA Hwy 23 road closure a half mile south of Walker Road due to the installation of hesco baskets.  
  • Troop B is monitoring the Crescent City Connection and will do so throughout the duration of the storm.
  • Gaming Troopers have been in contact with local area casinos about security and the protection of their assets as the threat of Tropical Storm Isaac approaches.  Casinos in Lafayette and Lake Charles are closed.  L’Auberge Hotel was expected to have their grand opening this week, but that has been delayed. 
DEQ
  • Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Peggy Hatch requested a fuel waiver yesterday from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that would make it easier for gas stations to maintain their fuel supply by using the summer blend. That waiver has been granted.
  • Sensitive equipment from Ambient Air Monitoring Stations in projected area of impact is moved to safe locations.  The stations themselves are readied for storm.
  • Incident command teams are identified and alerted.
  • Watercraft assets are prepared to respond as needed.
  • Members of Water Assessment group are named and prepared to participate in BP post storm assessments.
  • All 254 radiation licensees were contacted and verified that radiation sources were appropriately stored, moved, or otherwise prepared for storm.
  • DEQ expects to add 9 more debris sites to those previously announced.
LWC
  • A total of 1,100 meals and snacks have been served so far at state evacuation shelters. Another 2,210 meals are scheduled to be served through lunchtime today.
AGRICULTURE
  • LDAF delivered approximately 24,000 gallons of diesel fuel and 26,000 gallons of unleaded gasoline to shelters, parishes that have requested it, and transportation facilities to supply emergency response vehicles. 
  • They have activated pet shelters in Alexandria and Bastrop. As of this morning, the Alexandria facility had 28 pets. The Shreveport pet shelter is on standby. The Monroe facility will be open today.
  • With the assistance of DOTD, 40 wire shelter/pet cages were delivered to Belle Chase.
  • The transportation branch has 10 pet cargo vans and 12 pet transport trucks loaded with 1,204 transport crates with 2 trucks specifically staged ready at Zephyr field and prepared to conduct pet evacuation and transportation operations.
DOTD
  • DOTD restaged its busing assets to locations outside of the potential path of the storm and away from flood zones to ensure they are accessible for citizens’ future use. 
  • 283 coaches are staged and on standby. 83 school buses are staged at Carville. 132 school buses are available and ready should they be needed.
  • Buses will be on standby in nearby locations to return immediately should services be needed in coastal regions. The buses will be located in Lake Charles, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Carville. 
  • Currently, DOTD is maintaining 10 coaches, one van and one pet carrier at Zephyr field if an immediate need arises.
  • Additionally, in support of evacuation effort, DOTD has moved 220 individuals out of the path of the storm.
  • Specifically, utilizing available coaches, DOTD has moved 26 special-needs citizens and evacuees from Mike Miley Park in Jefferson Parish to the LSU Parker Coliseum, in addition to moving 19 citizens from Terrytown Park to Hammond.
  • DOTD has transported 31 special needs individuals and evacuees from Allie Mays Center to Alexandria and LSU Baton Rouge, 97 nursing home patients and staff from Bay Side Nursing Home to Amite and provided shuttle service from an LSU-A parking area to an Alexandria shelter.
  • DOTD personnel delivered 1000 linear feet of HESCO baskets to the Lafourche Parish Field Office in Lockport to assist in levee flood protection efforts.
  • The rest areas along I-10 and I-59 are closed until further notice.
    The Lake Borne Basin Levee District closed flood gates to prevent storm surge in St. Bernard Parish, beginning on LA 39, then LA 300, then LA 46.
  • The Empire and Ostricia Locks have been closed to navigation and locked down.
  • All movable bridges in the New Orleans area have been closed to navigation, locked down and operators have been evacuated from the low lying areas. Traffic control gates have been removed at some bridges to protect them from damage.  
  • Additionally, in the Houma area, bridges are in the process of being locked downed.
  • LA 45 is closed at Jean Lafitte National Park due to storm preparations.  The detour route is LA 3134.
  • LA 23 (Belle Chasse Hwy.) southbound at the Oakdale Flood gate is closed to traffic.  
  • US 90 westbound at the Davis Pond Diversion is closed to traffic. The detour route is Live Oak Blvd. to River Road to Barton Avenue.
  • US 90 eastbound at the Davis Pond Diversion is closed to traffic. The detour route is Barton Avenue to River Road to Live Oak Blvd. 
  • U.S. 90 is closed at the St. Charles/ Jefferson Parish line for the construction of a flood wall.  The closure is expected to last several hours.
  • US 61 (Airline Drive) has been closed along at the Jefferson/St. Charles Parish Line. The detour route is Alliance Street to River Road to Almedia Road.
HEALTH AND HOSPITALS
  • DHH authorized a 30 day prescription refill for Medicaid recipients so folks can get an additional 30 day supply of their prescription now.
  • DHH temporarily suspended EMT license requirements, allowing EMTs from out of state to administer care in Louisiana during and after the storm. 
Health Care Facilities:
  • There are 81 hospitals and 71 nursing homes in the Hurricane Warning Area.
  • Eight nursing homes in regions 1 and 3 have evacuated patients ahead of the storm.
    • Six have conducted full evacuations
    • One has conducted partial evacuation with plans to complete evacuations today
    • One has evacuated only high-risk residents
  • Yesterday, four nursing homes advised the State they needed assistance making evacuation or shelter-in-place plans:
    • Carrington Place nursing home (NOLA), Unity Hospital nursing home (NOLA) and St. Margaret’s Daughters nursing home (NOLA) ultimately advised they were able to make acceptable shelter-in-place plans by bringing in additional, portable AC units with generator attached to accommodate residents if there is a power failure.
    • As of 6:05 a.m. today, all 108 patients and staff from Bayside Health Care Nursing Home in Greta were evacuated to their sister facility, Tangi Pines, in Tangipahoa Parish. 
  • Three hospitals have evacuated – two fully and one partially.
    • DePaul evacuated 24 psych patients in a partial evacuation to Central with 30 staff.
    • St. Charles Specialty Rehabilitation Hospital in Luling fully evacuated their nine patients
    • United Medical Healthwest in Gretna fully evacuated their census of 10 patients to their sister facility, United Medical Rehabilitation Hospital in Hammond.
  • 38 ICF/DD Facilities (Group Homes) in Jefferson, Lafourche, Orleans, St. Charles, St. Mary, St. Tammany, St. John the Baptist and Terrebonne parishes evacuated a total of 215 clients to day program buildings operated by parent companies, other ICF facilities owned by parent companies or hotels. 
  • 16 Assisted Living Residential Facilities have evacuated their residents.
    • In Jefferson Parish, four adult residential facilities evacuated with residents going home with family.
    • In Orleans Parish, five adult residential facilities evacuated with residents going home with family or to hotel.
    • In St Tammany Parish, six facilities evacuating with residents going home with family and some to SELH (state owned homes).
    • In Terrebonne Parish, one facility evacuating with residents going home with family
DHH Office Updates
  • Office of Aging and Adult Services (OAAS):
    • Support coordination agencies have contacted more than 90 percent of recipients in the home and community-based waivers to confirm their emergency plans:
    • Region 1: 11% to evacuate, 89% shelter in place
    • Region 2: (Ascension Parish only) 10% to evacuate, 90% shelter in place
    • Region 3: 18% to evacuate, 82% shelter in place
    • Region 9 (St. Tammany/Northshore): 38% to evacuate, 62% shelter in place
  • Villa Feliciana Nursing Home in Jackson is prepared and equipped for the event. They have generator capacity, which includes HVAC capability for majority of buildings, and have requested a backup generator to power their water system. A Contract is in place for this in emergency situations).  
Office for Citizens for Developmental Disabilities (OCDD)
  • Pinecrest Supports and Services Center is ready to function as a host site for home and community-based or Intermediate Care Facilities for Developmentally Disabled (ICF-DD) providers with prior arrangements with the facility if needed. 
  • Northlake Supports and Services Center in Hammond has secured 13,300 gallons of diesel. They have ample food supply. An extra 3,800 gallons of diesel will be delivered today as backup. 
  • Support coordination agencies are contacting providers in the affected areas to make sure they are working with their clients, that they have plans, what those plans are and ensure that those plans are adequate.  
    • Jefferson Parish—
      • 176 DD waiver participants are evacuating; 482 DD waiver participants to shelter-in-place.
    • Plaquemines Parish—
      • 10 DD waiver participants are evacuating; 6 DD waiver to shelter-in-place. 
    • Ascension Parish—
      • 18 DD waiver participants are evacuating; 180 DD waiver participants to shelter-in-place.
      • Support coordination agencies are continuing to contact waiver recipients in this parish today who couldn’t be reached yet.
    • St. Charles Parish—
      • 1 ICF/DD long-term care facility serving six people was evacuated on Sunday. 
      • 30 DD waiver participants are evacuating; 48 DD to shelter in place. 
    • Terrebonne Parish—
      • 1 ICF/DD home serving six people located in a recommended evacuation area was evacuated on Monday. 
      • There are no ICF/DD homes located in mandatory evacuation areas
Office of Behavioral Health (OBH)
  • East Louisiana Mental (ELMHS) is sheltering-in-place 532 patients and maintaining sufficient staffing levels. ELMHS received 36 clients and eight staff from Grace Outreach in the New Orleans area. Patients arrived Monday night.
  • SELH is sheltering in place 176 residents and maintaining sufficient staffing levels. 
Office of Public Health (OPH):
  • The Bureau is dispatching ambulances to assist affected parishes. Thus far, 73 ambulances have been processed.
  • DHH has requested federal assistance for 100 operational and continuously staffed Advanced Life Support (ALS) ambulances and up to 300 para-transit seats. These are staffed and ready if needed.
  • Public health leadership has been in touch with Texas Public Health. Texas has placed four AMB-buses (capacity for 16-18 patients each) and 25 ambulances on alert, and they have made them available to Louisiana on request. 
  • DHH will close Oyster Harvest areas 1-28 (located from Lake Borne in St. Bernard Parish to Vermillion Bay in Vermillion Parish), effective at sunset today. This is a precautionary closure because floodwaters from Tropical Storm Isaac could cause natural contaminants to wash into the oyster harvesting areas. 
CPRA
  • Greater New Orleans Area
    • 2000 sandbags will be transported to Slidell.
    • The Orleans Levee District reports all gates are closed except two at the IHNC surge barrier.
    • The Corps of Engineers will close that surge barrier and the entire IHNC complex at noon today. That includes the closure of gates at Seabrook, New Bayou Bienvenue and the sector gate. 
    • The Orleans outfall canal has been closed. The 17th Street Canal and the London Canal are expected to be closed today. 
    • On the West Bank, the gate at Boomtown will be closed today.
    • The Harvey Sector Gate is still open.
    • The Corps of Engineers has said it will keep that West Closure Complex sector gate open until water reaches a plus-2 level.

  • Lafourche Parish
    • Nine pallets of Hesco Baskets were delivered this morning.

  • Terrebonne Parish
    • All floodgates are closed except the Sector Gate on Bayou Terrebonne where water is still flowing out.  That gate will close as soon as the tide slackens or shifts.
    • Pumping capacity there can work at 735 cubic feet per second, or 330,000 gallons per minute. Bayou Dularge is in the process of being closed.

  • St. Bernard Parish
    • All gates are closed—including the Caernarvon sector gate--and all pumps are operational.

  • St. Mary Parish
    • Yellow Bayou is now closed.
    • Franklin Canal will be closed at 4 p.m.
    • CPRA is providing additional pumps to accommodate canal closures.
PSC
  • Entergy has 27 staging sites around the state prepared for the storm response. 
  • The Waterford 3 plant may potentially shut down this afternoon if the triggers in their storm operation plan are reached.
  • Entergy has 3800- 4,000 linemen/tree trimmers on standby to help with downed trees and power lines.
  • Cleco also has 450 additional outside linemen/tree trimmers on standby.



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