UPDATED 6:44 AM PT – Friday, July 12, 2019
As Tropical Storm Barry inches toward the gulf coast, the Trump administration is working with local officials to avert a potential disaster.
President Trump approved Louisiana’s emergency declaration Thursday night, allowing both FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to work with local governments in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. It also opens the door for federal funds to go toward disaster relief if needed.
This comes as weather experts say the tropical storm has a good chance of becoming a category one hurricane, which could see winds of around 75 miles per hour. However, officials have warned that the potential flooding and torrential rainfall caused by the storm are likely to be the main challenge.
There has already been heavy floods in parts of New Orleans this week, which has raised questions about the city’s preparedness to tackle large storms.
“This is what we have to deal with every time a hard rain comes. It doesn’t have to be a tropical storm…any type of hard rain, this is what we’re dealing with. The sewerage system needs to be done in a better predicament than what it is.”
— Qana Mack, resident – New Orleans
Citizens in multiple parishes along Louisiana’s coastline have been evacuated to higher ground amid widespread floods.
“This is what everybody did. We take three days of clothing and you bring in some dry goods. You bring flashlights and good batteries and stuff like that because that’s the routine.”
— Clarence Brocks, resident – Phoenix, La.
President Trump took to twitter Thursday to warn of the flooding and extreme weather conditions at the Gulf coast. He assured his administration is working closely with FEMA as well as state and local officials to mitigate the effects of the storm.
To everyone on the Gulf Coast: As you make preparations to protect your homes & loved ones from flooding & the coming storm, it is imperative that you heed the directions of @FEMA, State & Local Officials. We are working closely w/ them. Please be prepared, be careful, & be SAFE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 11, 2019
The president is also urging residents to follow directions of the authorities to protect their lives and properties. His warning comes as heavy rain and strong winds accompanied by flooding are expected in Louisiana, Mississippi, and parts of Texas over the weekend.