News for Monday 081516
By Dave Graichen
South Louisiana is grappling with one of the most catastrophic flood events in the state’s history, and the situation is ongoing. The Bayou State has dealt with a few significant weather events this year, but this one is shattering records beyond measure. Governor John Bel Edwards says, because residents did not anticipate their homes flooding.. the search and rescue operations have been inundated..
Edwards says more than 20,000 people had been rescued over the weekend, and over 500 pets. Many have said that one of the greatest challenges of this situation, is how unpredictable the weather and the water has been. Edwards says volunteers and first responders have been working around the clock to make these rescues, and many others are stepping up as well…:
The great flood of 2016 wiped out places that had never seen water before. Interstate 12 had to be closed between Baton Rouge and Hammond. State Police Col Mike Edmonson says officers were with people who got stranded on the interstate, but many refused to leave their cars. He says troopers tried to reach people to bring them food and water, but it’s been a major challenge…:
As of Sunday afternoon, four people had reportedly been confirmed dead from being washed away by the raging waters and strong current. GOHSEP Director Col. James Waskom says this rescue effort is not limited to Baton Rouge, Livingston, St. Helena and Tangipahoa…:
Louisiana National Guard Major General Glenn Curtis says this has been a life and death operation. He says about 1700 guardsmen are mobilized in the affected area across south Louisiana.
The weekend flooding hit close to home when woman drowned Sunday afternoon after she attempted to drive through a flooded road in Hineston. According to the RPSO, the vehicle was swept away by the water. The woman and her young child were able to escape the vehicle before it sank. The child survived by cling to a tree and was rescued by two local residents. The woman was not so lucky. Her body was found a short time later.
After days of torrential downpours and massive flooding across much of southeastern Louisiana, many people are expected to file claims on their flood insurance policies. Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon says the first thing people need to do is contact their agent. Donelon says people should also do what they can to minimize the damage to their home. If there are any costs involved in doing so, people need to save those receipts as well.
Today we enter what forecasters say is the heart of hurricane season. State climatologist Barry Keim says this period runs from about mid-August until early October. He says this period is when most of the worst hurricanes have hit Louisiana. Keim says conditions over the Gulf are right to produce some strong storms. He says that’s why the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration upped their forecast for this year’s hurricane season.
State Superintendent of Education John White is proposing a plan to lawmakers that would allow the voucher students that were placed on a waiting list, to go ahead and enroll in the nonpublic school. He says the schools would agree to accept a small payment of $100 from the state per child for the year. White says the money the state would pay for these students’ vouchers is essentially the same if the child attended a public school. White says they will know by August 22nd whether or not the private schools who participate in the voucher program will agree to this plan, but he expects most will.
The Drug Enforcement Administration announces marijuana will remain a Schedule I drug under federal law, which begs the question as to what will happen in Louisiana and the 24 other states that legalized medical marijuana. Parks Senator Fred Mills authored Louisiana’s medical marijuana legislation, and he says he’s not worried because they planned for this when they wrote the bill. Mills says this ruling should not affect Louisiana’s ability to dispense medical cannabis to the patients who need it. But he says he is still not pleased with the feds’ decision.
Many Louisianans are feeling the wrath of upper respiratory infections even in the dog days of summer. Lake Charles Memorial Hospital Infection Preventionist Bridget Redlich attributes this to the increase to the pollen and mold count during the summer months.. Redlich says it’s easy to confuse an upper respiratory infection with allergies but there is a difference. If conditions worsen, if you run a fever or if symptoms don’t seem to want to do away, see a professional.
Bassmaster Magazine has named Caddo Lake and Lake Bistineau in the top 25 lakes for bass fishing in the country. Toledo Bend has been ranked number one by the magazine for the last two years. LDWF Fisheries Biologist Manger Jeff Sibley says a panel of people review the sights and tournament data then come up with a formula to rank the lakes. Caddo Lake comes in a number 7 and Lake Bistineau ranks number 16.