Gov. Kathleen Blanco has declared a state of emergency today as Tropical Storm Humberto headed towards the coast near the Texas and Louisiana borders. Gov. Blanco said that experts were tracking the storm closely and expect significant rainfall in Southwest Louisiana that could lead to flooding and other emergency needs and that the state was ready to help other leaders to help keep their people safe.
That declaration will remain in effect up until Oct. 11 unless canceled sooner, the governor’s office said.
A state of emergency was called by Acadia, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vermilion parishes which are located in southwestern Louisiana earlier. They made the emergency declarations being cautious towards the fact that predictions show this storm could release two or more feet of rain in that area.
The eastern parts of coastal Texas and southwest Louisiana, including Cameron Parish, which was devastated by Hurricane Rita in September 2005 has issued a tropical storm warning already. With winds of 45 miles per hour, Humberto, would be the first named storm to touch grounds of the Gulf Coast area since 2005.
While federally issued travel trailers and mobile homes still remain occupied in Cameron Parish, rain was the biggest concern for state and local officials this time instead of winds.
The National Hurricane Center predict Humberto to make landfall Wednesday night. They expect Humberto to drop up to 10 inches of rain along the middle and upper Texas coast and in Louisiana. By Thursday night, the National Hurricane Center informed that rainfall totals could reach up to 15 inches.
Metorologist Roger Erickson with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles said that other terrors center on coastal flooding in Cameron and Vermilion parishes and tornadoes.
Humberto was expected to touch land around Freeport, Texas, though the rain band stretches about 200 miles from the center.
The state has prepared a crisis team to audit the storm around the clock and was prepared to send support to the coast, if necessary. Calcasieu and Vermilion parishes already have shelters that are on standby. Vermilion also was making sandbags and sand available to residents.
Hurricane Rita was the second major storm to strike Louisiana in 2005. About a month earlier, Hurricane Katrina came ashore near the Louisiana and Mississippi borders, and devastated the New Orleans area and coastal counties in Mississippi. Since Katrina, the Gulf Coast hasn’t been the same and that area has learned to take all the issued precautions seriously.