New Orleans Forecast Improves Slightly As Southwest Louisiana Braces For More Rain
Tropical Storm Harvey is expected to make yet another landfall tomorrow morning. This time in Southwest Louisiana.
Over the last few days, Harvey has dropped more than 20 inches of rain on parts of Southwest Louisiana. Five hundred people were rescued in the Lake Charles area Monday night due to flooding.
Gov. John Bel Edwards says winds could cause damage to trees and power lines if they're strong enough, but the main concern is heavy rain and flooding. The National Weather Service (NWS) predicts parts of Southwest Louisiana could see another 5 to 10 inches of rain.
He says that could be made worse by storm surge, "which will prevent the rivers from draining as we would want them to."
Edwards says the state is sending a fuel truck to the Texas state line to help out Cajun Navy — the group of scrappy volunteers who towed personal boats to Houston to help rescue efforts there. The Edwards administration has also helped them coordinate with Texas officials on the ground.
"We just wanna make sure that they’re talking to the authorities in Texas so that their efforts can be coordinated," he says. "So that they both don't get in the way, but also so that they can do the most good. And by the way — by all reports they are performing very, very well."
City officials say the latest forecast for Hurricane Harvey leaves New Orleans mostly out of harm's way. The storm is tracking further north, pulling its outer rain bands away from New Orleans.
City Councilman James Gray says he's visited the city's pumping stations, and it looks like they’ve been working.
"The pumps, the canals, everything worked just the way we planned for them to work yesterday," he says, "And we think that will continue on into the future. I think we’re in good shape compared to what could have been."
The Sewerage and Water Board says 13 of the city’s pumps are still down.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says with the improved forecast, schools and public buildings will re-open Wednesday. Additional rainfall is expected tonight and tomorrow morning, and a flash flood watch is still in effect until Thursday evening.
You can find out more about how to aid recovery efforts in both Texas and Louisiana at Volunteer Louisiana.