You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Louisiana issues state of emergency as coast braces for storm in Gulf

NBC News logo NBC News 6/18/2021 Phil Helsel
John Bel Edwards wearing a suit and tie © Provided by NBC News

Louisiana’s governor on Thursday declared a state of emergency ahead of heavy rain and other possible effects from an approaching tropical system just weeks into hurricane season.

Potential Tropical Cyclone Three is in the Gulf of Mexico and forecast to bring tropical storm conditions to the coast starting Friday. By Thursday night, tropical storm warnings had been issued from Intracoastal City, which is south of Lafayette, east to the Alabama-Florida border, according to the National Hurricane Center.

UP NEXT
UP NEXT

The New Orleans area could see 8 inches of rain and winds of 30 mph with higher gusts, the National Weather Service said. But all of south Louisiana is expected to be impacted, Gov. John Bel Edwards said at a news conference Thursday.

"Everybody has to be ready," he said. A state of emergency authorizes the use of state resources in storm response efforts.

Southwest Louisiana was hit with two hurricanes within weeks of each other — first Category 4 Laura that made landfall near Cameron in August, and then Category 2 Delta, which hit 12 miles to the east around six weeks later.

Then came a severe winter storm in February, and in May, more than a foot of rain fell in some areas and flooded hundreds of homes and other structures.

"Here we are, already in the next hurricane season and we’re not through the first month and we're already talking about a storm that as we speak is somewhere in the Gulf, just due south of Lake Charles," Edwards said.

Lake Charles, hard hit by both of last year's hurricanes and this year’s flooding, was not under a tropical storm warning Thursday night. City crews cleared drains and ditches this week. Donald Jones, meteorologist for the Lake Charles weather service office, said there is some uncertainty as to the storm's track, and wherever its rain bands form there could be up to 3 inches of rain.

Mississippi's emergency management agency urged residents to be vigilant and said it sent more than 90,000 sandbags to the coast. The weather service in Mobile, Alabama, warned of very heavy rain, coastal flooding and winds.

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially began June 1 and ends Nov. 30. Last year’s hurricane season was the busiest on record, with 30 named storms, 11 of which made landfall in the continental United States.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has predicted this year’s season to be more active than normal, but likely not at the historic level of last year.

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from NBC News

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon