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Gov. Edwards says La. prepared to assist neighboring states, as Sally’s forecast shifts to Miss./Ala. state line

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks about his state's response to Hurricane Laura and to the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La.
Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards talks about his state's response to Hurricane Laura and to the coronavirus pandemic during a news conference, Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, in Baton Rouge, La.(Melinda Deslatte | AP)
Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 8:49 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2020 at 3:12 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Governor John Bel Edwards said during a news conference Tuesday, Sept. 15 Hurricane Sally will likely not have as dire of an impact on Louisiana as forecasters originally thought just two days ago.

Gov. Edwards said the estimated rainfall totals in Louisiana from Sally decreased “dramatically” Tuesday, but flooding from storm surge remained a concern in low-lying areas of the state’s southeast coast, like Grand Isle.

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Edwards holds a press conference on the latest with Hurricane Sally and COVID-19.

Posted by KALB News Channel 5 on Tuesday, September 15, 2020

He said while Sally’s eastern shift was “good news” for Louisiana, it meant “bad news” for neighboring states. As of 1 p.m. Tuesday, Sally was expected to make landfall near the Mississippi/Alabama state line as a Category 1 hurricane late Tuesday or early Wednesday, Sept. 16.

Gov. Edwards said he had spoken with governor’s of both state and Louisiana would be able to offer personnel and equipment to help with search and rescue and disaster relief efforts, if needed.

The governor announced the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) has calculated the monetary loss to the state’s agriculture and forests from Hurricane Laura to be $1.6 billion. He said Laura caused $525 million in crop losses and $1.1 billion indamage to 750,000 acres of timber in the southwestern and northern parts of the state.

Gov. Edwards said nearly 13,000 evacuees from southwest Louisana are currently being sheltered in hotels, the vast majority in New Orleans. He also said 5,300 Louisiana residents were being sheltered in Texas hotels.

The governor said Texas officials are asking those evacuees who could now safely returned home to do so. He clarified that meant evacuated residents now had electricity and water and the damage to their homes was not too extensive.

Louisiana residents who are sheltered in Texas can call 1-888-991-5229 for more information.

Gov. Edwards announced anyone living an eligible parish could apply by phone for Disaster SNAP, also known as DNSAP, benefits, regardless of their last name Wednesday, Sept. 16 by calling 1-888-LAHELPU.

The governor ended his news conference by urging residents to continue to practice COVID-19 mitigation measures and be considerate of people in the vulnerable population.

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