STATE OF EMERGENCY – SEVERE WEATHER AND FLOODING
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., confers upon the Governor of the State of Louisiana emergency powers to deal with emergencies and disasters, including those caused by fire, flood, earthquake or other natural or manmade causes, in order to ensure that preparations of this state will be adequate to deal with such emergencies or disasters and to preserve the lives and property of the people of the State of Louisiana;
WHEREAS, when the Governor determines that a disaster or emergency has occurred, or the threat thereof is imminent, R.S. 29:724(B)(1) empowers the Governor to declare a state of emergency by executive order or proclamation, or both;
WHEREAS, beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and continuing through this date, a prolonged series of strong thunderstorms have passed over the State, depositing several inches of rain across widespread areas of the State, with the threat of tornadoes, flooding and flash flooding causing road closures and creating dangerous conditions for motorists statewide;
WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has issued alerts including special weather statements, tornado watches, flood warnings and flash flood warnings for much of the State, and flood stage conditions for rivers and bayous in southern Louisiana;
WHEREAS, the parishes of Acadia, Avoyelles, Concordia, East Carroll, Evangeline, Livingston and St. Landry, have declared states of emergency in order to assist residents in areas already experiencing flooding from this event and to implement necessary flood protection measures to protect their citizens, prepare for additional flooding, and respond to ongoing flooding;
WHEREAS, the State anticipates additional parishes will declare states of emergency and that assistance may be needed to assist the parishes in their response to this continuing threat;
NOW THEREFORE, I, BOBBY JINDAL, Governor of the State of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and the laws of the State of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: Pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency is hereby declared to exist statewide, as a result of the current flooding and developing threat of additional flooding, that threatens the lives and property of the citizens of the State.
SECTION 2: The Director of the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness is hereby authorized to undertake any activity authorized by law which he deems appropriate in response to this declaration.
SECTION 3: All departments, commissions, boards, agencies and officers of the State, or any political subdivision thereof, are authorized and directed to cooperate in actions the State may take in response to the effects of this severe weather event.
SECTION 4: This state of emergency extends from Thursday, Jan. 10, to Saturday, Feb. 9 unless terminated sooner.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the City of Baton Rouge, on this 10th day of January, 2013.