Gov. Edwards requests federal assistance due to river flooding concerns

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BATON ROUGE, La. (Office of the Governor) Gov. John Bel Edwards is requesting federal assistance due to the ongoing threat of river flooding across Louisiana and any potential activities associated with protecting the public.

Edwards' request covers emergency protective measures and direct federal assistance.

In a statement, Edwards said, “Weather experts say this has been the wettest stretch on record for the Lower Mississippi River Valley. Rivers and waterways across the state have remained elevated for the past several months. River forecasters say this fight will now extend well into the summer and will likely result in the need to open the Morganza Spillway, operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Bonnet Carre spillway is currently open, after being opened and closed earlier this year as part of the flood fight. This is the first year that structure was opened twice. Many of our waterways remain elevated, many roads continue to have problems with standing water and floodwaters threaten homes and businesses in many different regions of the state. The state has already started assisting our local partners and stand ready to expand that assistance as needed.”

Edwards issued a state of emergency on February 27, 2019, as this extended fight began. A state of emergency is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in flood response efforts. Those efforts are being coordinated through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness.