Livestock preparations for opening of Morganza Spillway

BATON ROUGE – With the Morganza Spillway set to open on June 2, residents with livestock are being urged to move to higher ground.

According to the National Weather Service, heavy rain in other parts of the country continues to work its way down and is threatening to overtop the Morganza structure.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced the spillway will be opened on June 2, to alleviate flooding, but will also inundate farm areas where crops and livestock are located.

Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., is strongly urging anyone near the Morganza Spillway, who owns livestock and farm equipment, to prepare to move to higher ground as a result of river flooding.

“Farmers and ranchers need to prepare now to move livestock, feeding capability and equipment to higher ground. It is always important to have a game plan for times such as this,” said Strain.

The LDAF is preparing to assist with search and rescue operations to deal with animal issues, and people with household pets should be prepared to evacuate with their pets. Remember to bring all supplies and vaccination records with you, if possible.

Livestock owners who need assistance should call their local Office of Emergency Preparedness (OEP).

Crop damage as a result of the opening of the spillway should be reported to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA).

Assessments will be conducted by the LSU AgCenter.

For more information on emergency preparation for livestock, go to http://www.LDAF.la.gov or http://www.getagameplan.org.

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