Western Louisiana residents prepared for more wind and water early Wednesday as Tropical Storm Harvey made its second landfall after the record rainfall on Texas, The Associated Press reports.
The storm came ashore just west of Cameron, Louisiana, bringing maximum sustained winds near 45 mph (72 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Harvey had lingered over Texas for days before meandering back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters say another 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain could fall in western Louisiana.
Cameron Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness said a curfew was in effect until the threat had passed and checkpoints have been set up at entry points into evacuated areas.
State offices in 28 parishes and most Baton Rouge area schools won’t open Wednesday in anticipation of possible severe weather. Governor John Bel Edwards urged people to remain alert but said the state is responding well to less severe conditions in its own borders.
“You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us, but with the people in this room, I’m confident we can handle it,” he told local and state officials during a visit Tuesday to Lake Charles.
Edwards said that Louisiana also has offered to shelter storm victims from Texas, adding he expects Texas officials to decide within 48 hours whether to accept the offer.
Harvey’s devastating flooding brought back tough memories in New Orleans as Tuesday marked the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Mitch Landrieu opened his Tuesday news conference with a moment of silence for Katrina victims and words of support for Harvey’s victims in Texas and southwest Louisiana, The Associated Press writes.
Landrieu urged residents to stay home Tuesday because of the threat of potential high water, as some New Orleans neighborhoods were flooded earlier this month during a deluge that exposed problems with the city’s pump and drainage system.
New Orleans officials planned to reopen government buildings and public schools Wednesday, a day after they were shut down amid fears of flooding rain from Harvey.
About 500 people were evacuated in southwest Louisiana’s most populous parish early Tuesday, as a heavy band of rain pushed waterways out of their banks, Calcasieu Parish spokesman Tom Hoefer said. He said as many as 5,000 parish residents were affected by the flooding, but not all of those people have flooded homes. Some are just cut off by flooded roads.
Evacuations continued Tuesday in some rural areas outside Lake Charles, with authorities working to empty a flood-prone subdivision near the town of Iowa.