BATON ROUGE, La. (WGNO) — Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards requested a Federal Emergency Declaration for the saltwater intrusion impacting the Mississippi River on Monday, Sept. 25.

A spokesperson for Edwards’ office said drought conditions across the state and Mississippi River Valley have caused the rate of fresh water flowing in the river to lower.

They said the intrusion has already impacted Plaquemines Parish, and St. Bernard, Jefferson and Orleans parishes are “projected to be impacted over the next month.”

According to Edwards’ office, the United States Army Corps of Engineers performed surveys of the river and “learned that on Sept. 20, 2023, the saltwater wedge overtopped an underwater sill at river mile marker 63.8 near Alliance, Louisiana.”

They said the sill is being upgraded and is a temporary measure to mitigate the intrusion.

The governor’s office said the approval of the Federal Emergency Declaration will offer federal assistance to reimburse ongoing response and temporary mitigation efforts. The approval will also authorize assistance from federal partners.

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