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May 15, 2013
Governor Jindal Declares State of Emergency for Rising Levels of the Mississippi River

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Jindal declared a state of emergency to prepare for Mississippi River crests that are predicted to be well above flood stage.

EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENT: PROCLAMATION NO. 70 BJ 2013

STATE OF EMERGENCY ? IMMINENT THREAT OF FLOODING ALONG MISSISSIPPI RIVER AND OTHER STATE BODIES OF WATER

WHEREAS,              the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, La. R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or manmade causes, in order to ensure that preparations of this State will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the State of Louisiana; and

WHEREAS,              when the Governor determines that a disaster or emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, La. R.S. 29:724(B)(1) empowers the Governor to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation, or both; and

WHEREAS,              when the Governor determines that a disaster or emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, La. R.S. 29:724(B)(3) empowers the Governor to indicate the designated emergency area which is or may be affected; and

WHEREAS,              the National Weather Service has issued flood stage warnings along the length of the Mississippi River with flood warnings issued in at least five locations in Louisiana and predicted river crests above flood stage in at least five locations in Louisiana which creates the potential for flooding in this state along the Mississippi River in Louisiana; and

WHEREAS,              the National Weather Service has issued flood warnings for other bodies of water in the State which have the potential for flooding; and

WHEREAS,              during this high water period, water elevations on some river levees may be significantly higher than the base elevation of adjacent areas, requiring their full design capabilities to ensure the protection and safety of nearby citizens and property of the State; and
                                    
WHEREAS,              certain activities on or near levees, including without limitation digging, boring, excavating, drilling, driving, hauling, and others, could weaken or otherwise compromise the level of flood protection provided to an area; and 

WHEREAS,              the State anticipates that assistance may be needed for Parishes within the designated emergency area in their preparations and response to this developing threat;

NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, does hereby order and direct as follows:

SECTION 1:              Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency is hereby declared to exist statewide as a result of the developing threat of flooding, extending along the length of the Mississippi River and in other bodies of water throughout the State, that threatens the lives and property of the citizens of the State.

SECTION 2:              The Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is hereby authorized to undertake any activity authorized by law which he deems appropriate in response to this declaration.

SECTION 3:              The Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA), Governor’s Executive Assistant for Coastal Activities and the Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), in coordination with response activities undertaken by GOHSEP, are hereby authorized to undertake any activity authorized by law which they deem appropriate in response to this declaration, including the authority under La. R.S. 49:214.1 et seq.,  and Title 38 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, including but not limited to the exercise of the “full police power of the state” as necessary “to address the loss and devastation to the state and individuals arising from . . . flooding”.  CPRA and DOTD are additionally authorized and directed to undertake any activity necessary to accomplish their responsibilities and duties to implement Emergency Support Function 3 (ESF-3) under the State of Louisiana Emergency Operations Plan, including assessing the potential impact of the threat on the State’s infrastructure with federal, state, and local authorities, such as local levee districts and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, to ensure any necessary arrangements for critical state structures and facilities are initiated to protect the citizens of the State.

SECTION 4:              All departments, commissions, boards, agencies and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, including CPRA, DOTD, and the affected levee districts, are hereby directed to enforce or assure compliance with any and all applicable local, state, and federal ordinances, statutes, rules, regulations, and/or permitting requirements, make inspections, conduct necessary maintenance, prohibit certain activities, and take all other necessary actions in coordination with federal, state, or local authorities to assure that no activities or actions in the vicinity of, near or on, or use of a levee, hurricane protection project or a federal, state or local flood control project shall impact the soundness and effectiveness of those levees and flood control structures and thereby create an additional threat to the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the State by increasing the risk of a catastrophic failure.  Such enforcement activities should include enforcement of existing limitations on use of levees, flood control structures, hurricane protection projects or federal, state or local flood control projects, such as  the provisions of La. R.S. 38:213 (restricting riding or hauling on levees and flood control structures), statutory prohibitions of a more general nature such as the trespass prohibitions found in Title 14 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes, or any other applicable action taken pursuant to the authority herein or any other statute or regulation.

SECTION 5:              All departments, commissions, boards, agencies and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, including all levee boards, authorities, and districts in the designated emergency area, are authorized and directed to coordinate their actions through GOHSEP and cooperate in actions the State, CPRA, DOTD and/or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers may take in response to the threat of flooding.

SECTION 6:              This state of emergency extends from Wednesday, May 15, 2013 to Friday, June 14, 2013, unless terminated sooner.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 15th day of May, 2013.

____________________________  
GOVERNOR OF LOUISIANA


ATTEST BY                                                                                     
THE GOVERNOR

______________________
SECRETARY OF STATE

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