Governor Edwards: Be patient and wait for Harvey forecast to develop

LAKE CHARLES, La. — Gov. John Bel Edwards said the best thing Louisianans can do right now is be patient and wait for the forecast to develop for Hurricane Harvey.

Edwards spoke to the press Friday afternoon from Lake Charles, where he met with local officials who are bracing for localized flooding from Harvey’s storm surge.

Harvey is now a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph as it heads toward Corpus Christi, Texas.

“Texas is in store for a big storm that’s going to be devastating. Heavy winds, storm surge, and a rain event,” Edwards said. “Obviously we’re going to be the best neighbor we can be.”

The governor noted that the only thing forecast models agree on right now is that Harvey is a dangerous hurricane that will hit Texas late tonight or early tomorrow. After that, “there is no agreement” on Harvey’s path.

“It’s possible it will re-enter the Gulf and move east toward Louisiana. We did see that in 2001 with Allison,” he said.

Edwards said President Donald Trump called him Thursday night to check on Louisiana and make sure any requests from the federal government were being answered.

Edwards said the new FEMA administrator, Brock Long, had a face-to-face meeting in Louisiana this week.

For up-to-date state information on Harvey, Edwards said residents should go to emergency.la.gov, and for road closures, residents should go to 511la.org.

“As you get closer to the coast, there will be some road closures,” Edwards said. “There are already instances of water over-topping roads right now. The greatest loss of life occurs when people try to drive through standing water, not knowing how deep the water is or how strong the current is.”

Watch the full press conference below: