New river models giving state a head start on storm preparation

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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The state is using river models from the Water Institute of the Gulf to help plan its emergency operations ahead of Tropical Storm Barry. It’s a tool Louisiana officials have at their disposal this year that was not available during prior, significant storms.

Photo Credit: WAFB

“It allows the public, particularly local parishes in the cone of the storm, to understand the risk that they face,” Coastal Restoration and Protection Authority (CPRA) Chip Kline said. “When you’re able to overlay these model runs and the inundation impacts, people on the ground will see for themselves what the impact will be, including storm level and surge anticipated in a specific area."

Kline, along with Governor John Bel Edwards, said the storm event coming this weekend could be unlike anything Louisiana has experienced before because of already high river levels.

“There are three ways Louisiana floods: storm surge, high river, and rain,” Edwards said. “We’re going to have all three.”

Kline said the models present real-time information that can help researchers identify potential areas of concern.

RIVER LEVELS

“That gives us the ability to focus where we deploy assets, when we do it, and how much we dedicate,” Kline said. “I think having this at the water campus and being able to project models and then disseminate that information to the public, that’s really a game changer for us.”

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