Governor: 500 people rescued overnight in Southwest Louisiana

LOUISIANA — Gov. John Bel Edwards says about 500 people were rescued from floodwaters overnight in Southwest Louisiana.

Edwards, speaking Tuesday at a daily media briefing about Tropical Storm Harvey, said the rescues began about 6 p.m. Monday and ended about 1 or 2 a.m. Tuesday.

There were 269 people in shelters in Louisiana as of Tuesday afternoon.

Edwards said Tropical Storm Harvey has strengthened slightly and is expected to make landfall again in Southwest Louisiana sometime Wednesday morning.

It is set to move diagonally across the state, from the Southwest to the Northeast.

“The most concerning aspect is the longer it’s over the Gulf, the more moisture it will pick up,” Edwards said. “This will continue to be a heavy rain and flood event, although I don’t want people to totally discount what can happen because of the wind.”

In Southwest Louisiana, which is already saturated with water, anywhere from 10-24 inches of rain are expected over the next couple of days, along with a storm surge of 1-2 feet.

There are 671 Louisiana guardsmen working on Harvey operations in Louisiana, including dozens in New Orleans to help with pump stations and communicating drainage capacity to officials.

“We have assets spread strategically across the state of Louisiana,” Edwards said.

Louisiana also has assisted the Cajun Navy, a group of volunteers from South Louisiana that mobilized and headed to Houston to help with the devastating, deadly floods there. Edwards said the state provided fuel to the volunteers at the Louisiana-Texas border so the rescuers didn’t have to keep stopping rescue operations to look for fuel.

In addition to the Cajun Navy, about 40 people from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries are in the Houston area, helping with rescues.

President Donald Trump called Edwards again this morning and said he plans to visit Louisiana Saturday.

Check back for updates.

Here’s the full briefing from Edwards: