Louisiana Declares Emergency for Flood Threat

March 1, 2019 Updated: March 1, 2019

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Louisiana’s governor has declared a state of emergency because of the threat of flooding along the Mississippi River and elsewhere across the state.

Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office says the declaration announced on Feb. 28, allows the state’s emergency preparedness office to help local agencies with flood response efforts.

In a statement, the Democratic governor cited the National Weather Service’s flood warning for the entire length of the Mississippi River and noted more rain is in Louisiana’s forecast.

Middle Valley Plaza is seen flooded
Middle Valley Plaza is seen flooded in Soddy-Daisy, Tenn., after heavy rain overnight, on Feb. 23, 2019. (Doug Strickland/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP)

Jim Waskom, the governor’s emergency preparedness director, urged residets of any area prone to river flooding to “take action now to protect you and your home.”

The state of emergency declaration lasts until March 27.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says river levels in its expansive network of waterways are starting to recede, but flood-stricken residents should not exhale just yet as TVA continues to release water from dams and forecasters predict more rain in the coming days.

Kenny Thomas walks outside his home in Hartselle
Kenny Thomas walks outside his home in Hartselle, Ala. on Feb. 26, 2019. (Jeronimo Nisa/The Decatur Daily via AP)

TVA River Forecast Center manager James Everett says river levels have slowly begun to come down in northern Alabama and western Tennessee, which saw 10 to 13 inches of rain last week. That’s two to three times the normal rainfall for February.

The drenching led to homes, roads, businesses, and farms being flooded in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Alabama, where saturated land and bulging rivers led to water rescues and caused landslides and sinkholes. Officials said the recovery process could take a few weeks.