President Donald Trump has approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request for federal assistance related to Tropical Storm Marco and Hurricane Laura. Gov. Edwards submitted the pre-landfall emergency declaration to the President and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Saturday.
“I would like to thank President Trump for his quick approval of federal assistance for Louisiana and for pre-positioning FEMA assets and other federal support for our state during this unprecedented weather event,” Gov. Edwards said. “We’ve never seen two hurricanes hitting the same state back to back within 48 hours, as is anticipated in the coming days in Louisiana. At the same time, we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which makes the prospect of evacuations, search and rescue, and mass sheltering complicated and difficult. We will work alongside our federal and local partners to manage this unique and challenging group of disasters.”
FEMA is authorized to provide Public Assistance, Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) limited to direct Federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care including evacuation and shelter support for the parishes. FEMA is also authorized to provide Public Assistance, Category B emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance for the parishes.
Brian Williams, Director of Webster Parish OSHEP provided some insight into how Webster Parish will be affected by these storms.
The National Weather Service has said that Hurricane Marco is now tropical Storm Marco, it’s been downgraded, and it’s pushing more off to the west so it’s not going to be much of a threat to our area,” said Williams.
“What we’re continuing to monitor is Tropical Storm Laura, which we know will upgrade to a hurricane before it makes landfall, and at this point, it’s too early to tell the full path of where it’s going to go, but as of right now for our area, we’re still expecting five inches or more across the parish.”
Sandbags are available for pickup at the Webster Police Jury Public Works Barns throughout the parish, including those located in Sarepta, Sibley, Minden on Talton Street, and Spring Hill on Seventh Street.
“That’s mainly for people that live in low lying areas that are prone to flash flooding. Everyone else should be ok,” said Williams.
“The five inches or more of rain is going to be over the course of 48-72 hours and currently Lake Bistineau and Bayou Dorcheat are down due to the drawdown at the gates gate, so anything that we get here will run off into those two bodies of water and the backup we usually have an issue with won’t be a problem right now.”
Williams stated that Webster parish will start seeing signs of Marco tomorrow morning and Laura later on Wednesday night.
“We are doing daily briefings with the National Weather Service and getting the most current information out to us so we can relay it to our news media partners and via our Facebook page. So as I get more of those updates, we will push them out to everyone,” said Williams.