Weather

The Latest: Louisiana offers shelter to Texas flood evacuees

Posted August 29

— The Latest on Harvey in Louisiana (all times local):

1:05 p.m.

Gov. John Bel Edwards says Louisiana is offering to shelter storm victims from Texas while the state also helps its own residents who were rescued from Harvey's floodwaters overnight.

Edwards said at a news conference Tuesday in Baton Rouge that he expects Texas officials to decide within 48 hours whether to accept the offer and transport flood victims to Louisiana shelters.

Approximately 500 people were evacuated Monday night and early Tuesday from flooded neighborhoods in southwest Louisiana. Edwards says about 200 of them spent the night in area shelters.

Edwards says more than 600 members of the Louisiana National Guard are on storm-related duty. Many are assisting with rescue efforts.

Edwards says Tropical Storm Harvey was strengthening slightly after moving back into the Gulf of Mexico but wasn't expected to become a hurricane again before its predicted Wednesday landfall in Louisiana.

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1 p.m.

The Louisiana SPCA says it has moved about 70 animals to shelters in Georgia and Alabama to make room for animals rescued in Texas from Tropical Storm Harvey.

CEO Ana Zorilla says the New Orleans shelter moved animals from its shelter and one about 125 miles away to the Atlanta and Greater Birmingham humane societies.

She says in a news release that she's working with The Humane Society of the United States on a flight Thursday for about 100 animals from Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and suburban St. Bernard and Plaquemines (PLAK-uh-minz) parishes. Spokeswoman Alicia Haefele (HAY-fuh-lee) says that destination's not yet set.

Zorilla says the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also will pick up and house pets owned by homeless people who enter a New Orleans shelter during flooding from Harvey.

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12:25 p.m.

There was no escaping Harvey for members of a southeast Texas family who are now awaiting possible floods in New Orleans while their neighborhood back home is swamped with water.

The Auld Sweet Olive Bed and Breakfast is the new, temporary home for Joe Aldape (ahl-DAH'-pey), his sister Cynthia, his son Joseph and other family members. Sandbags are in place there to guard against possible Harvey-related floods.

The family from the League City, Texas, area had forged ahead with New Orleans vacation plans as Harvey developed. As of Tuesday they had no way to return to their flooded homes. Meanwhile, bands of rain from Harvey prompted flash flood watches in New Orleans.

Bed-and-breakfast owner Nancy Gunn said her business took on water during flash floods Aug. 5 but has not flooded so far during Harvey's rains.

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Noon

Weather forecasters expect Tropical Storm Harvey to come ashore Wednesday somewhere near Louisiana's southwestern corner, following its trip through Texas and return to the Gulf.

National Weather Service meteorologist Roger Erickson said Tuesday that officials prjoect a landfall in Cameron Parish around midday. Erickson says another 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of rain is likely across southwest Louisiana.

Forecasters also project heavy rain running east from New Orleans to Pensacola along the Gulf Coast.

Harvey is expected to bring gusts up to 45 mph (70 kph) in coastal areas and gusts of up to 35 mph (55 kph) in Lake Charles and along the Interstate 10 corridor.

Erickson warns that some coastal rivers won't be able to drain rains effectively because Harvey's winds are pushing storm surge into coastal waters, aggravating flooding in places that have already received more than 20 inches of rain.

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11:45 a.m.

With a gap in Tropical Storm Harvey's rain on Tuesday in Lake Charles, some residents who fled their homes overnight are returning to survey damage and remove possessions.

David Walls, 65, says he came back to get his mother's Bible and other keepsakes. He says water rose rapidly around sunset Monday, but he and his mother, who uses a walker, left before they needed assistance. About a foot of water flooded his family's house.

Reginald Nash, 25, came to look at damage with his father. Nash says he doesn't have flood insurance, but plans to fix damage.

Most residents aren't returning to their homes because they fear water will rise again with further rainfall.

Calcasieu (KAL'-kuh-shoo) Parish authorities say about 500 people were evacuated in southwest Louisiana's most populous parish overnight, as a heavy band of rain pushed waterways out of their banks.

9:55 a.m.

Many New Orleans residents appear to be heeding Mayor Mitch Landrieu's call to stay home due to potential flooding from Harvey's heavy rains.

Traffic on the bridge from New Orleans' west bank to the main part of the city was light during what normally would be rush hour Tuesday.

City Hall was closed. Classes were canceled at six universities and a medical school located in New Orleans, a community college and public and parochial schools.

A flash flood warning was called for the area.

Many neighborhoods in New Orleans flooded earlier this month during a deluge that exposed problems with the city's pump and drainage system.

Landrieu said Monday that the city has distributed more than 35,800 sandbags since Aug. 14.

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9:30 a.m.

A lull in Harvey's heavy rains is allowing water to recede in southwest Louisiana communities where hundreds of people were rescued from floodwaters overnight.

Calcasieu Parish spokesman Tom Hoefer says about 500 people were rescued Monday night and Tuesday morning across the parish, including many in Lake Charles. He says as many as 5,000 parish residents are affected by the flooding, but not all of those people have flooded homes. Some are just cut off by flooded roads.

Lake Charles wasn't the only Louisiana community where residents had to be rescued.

Lt. Mark Thrower of the Iowa (EYE-oh-WAY) Fire Department in Calcasieu Parish says emergency workers used a high-water vehicle and boat to evacuate approximately 25 people from waist-deep water in two sections of the town Monday night. Thrower says at least 45 homes in Iowa were flooded, but no injuries were reported.

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6:40 a.m.

A large cluster of heavy rain was moving in from the Gulf of Mexico, seeming to take aim at New Orleans.

The foreboding images of the incoming storm bands from Harvey were lighting up weather radar screens early Tuesday — the 12th anniversary of the day Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Plaquemines Parish on Aug. 29, 2005.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for all of southeast Louisiana, southwest Mississippi and the Mississippi Gulf Coast through Thursday. Forecasters say up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain will be possible through Thursday, with higher amounts possible.

Forecasters also warn of isolated tornadoes in Louisiana, especially in areas near the coast.

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4:35 a.m.

Tropical Storm Harvey is threatening to inundate southwestern Louisiana with potentially disastrous flooding.

Emergency personnel continued to rescue people from flooded homes early Tuesday morning in Lake Charles, as rainfall after sunset Monday sent water into homes in neighborhoods unaccustomed to flooding.

Flash flood warnings and watches were in effect for much of the region overnight and forecasters said 10 inches (25 centimeters) or more of rain could fall this week.

Few homes flooded earlier Monday, but a heavy band of rain on the east side of Lake Charles tipped the scales for some neighborhoods.

Although Louisiana doesn't appear to be facing a threat equal to Harvey's catastrophic toll in Texas, images of devastation revived painful memories for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, which made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005.

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