Western Louisiana residents braced for more wind and water early Wednesday as Tropical Storm Harvey made its second landfall after dumping record rainfall on Texas.
The storm came ashore just west of Cameron, Louisiana, bringing maximum sustained winds near 45 mph, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Harvey had lingered over Texas for days before meandering back into the Gulf of Mexico.
Forecasters say another 5 to 10 inches of rain could fall in western Louisiana.
“We are starting to get down to the end of the tunnel of all this rain,” Meteorologist Roger Erickson said.
Erickson warns that some coastal rivers won’t be able to drain effectively because Harvey’s winds are pushing in storm surge, aggravating flooding in areas already drenched by more than 20 inches of rain. Gusts up to 50 mph are predicted for coastal areas and up to 40 mph in Lake Charles and along the Interstate 10 corridor.
Cameron Parish’s Office of Emergency Preparedness said a curfew was in effect until the threat had passed and checkpoints have been set up at entry points into evacuated areas.
State offices in 28 parishes and most Baton Rouge area schools won’t open Wednesday in anticipation of possible severe weather. Gov. John Bel Edwards urged people to remain alert but said the state is responding well to less severe conditions in its own borders.
“You never know what Mother Nature is going to throw at us, but with the people in this room, I’m confident we can handle it,” he told local and state officials during a visit Tuesday to Lake Charles, which is near the Texas border.
Edwards said Louisiana also has offered to shelter storm victims from Texas. He said he expects Texas officials to decide within 48 hours whether to accept the offer.
Harvey’s devastating flooding brought back tough memories in New Orleans as Tuesday marked the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Mayor Mitch Landrieu opened his Tuesday news conference with a moment of silence for Katrina victims and words of support for Harvey’s victims in Texas and southwest Louisiana.
“We’ve got to save our house,” New Orleans resident Israel Freeman said as he loaded sandbags for his mother’s home into his Cadillac. “She already went through Katrina. She built her house back up. We just had a flood about two, three weeks ago. She just recovered from that.”
Bradley Morris lives in a ground-level house in New Orleans and was “preparing for the…