“This is one of those events that you pray just doesn’t happen.” – Governor John Bel Edwards.
Speaking with Newell Normand and Dave Cohen in the eight o’clock hour Wednesday evening, Governor John Bel Edwards summed up the ferocity of Hurricane Laura in his calm unassuming tone.
“In Cameron Parish, we do know from some cameras that we have, the town of Cameron has some water on the streets,” Governor Edwards described the storm surge as Laura was still hours from coming ashore.
“These wind speeds that they’re talking about, they’re not theoretical, there are buoys out in the Gulf that are measuring precisely what the wind is doing.”
“I heard language from the National Weather Service today, I’ve never heard before. When they say the storm surge will be unsurvivable, make no mistake they’re sending the strongest possible message about how serious this storm is,” Edwards said. “Laura intensified and developed in a textbook fashion, just drawing that energy out of the Gulf.”
“The surge is going to inland, they predict, there will be parts of Lake Charles underwater that that no living human being has ever seen before.”
Edwards says for the first time in years the entire Louisiana National Guard has been mobilized.
“We are marshalling all of our people and assets to go in tomorrow and start a very robust search and rescue effort,” Edwards continued. “We’ve brought in search and rescue teams from other states such as Tennessee for example.”
Edwards says all the assets are set up so as soon as the all clear is given, crews can move in to begin search and rescue and recovery efforts.
“The first thing about tomorrow is all about saving lives and of course we will be transporting a lot more people to shelters initially and ultimately to hotel and motel rooms.”
Edwards says they are putting people into hotels and motels instead of non-congregate gatherings to avoid any spread or exposure to COVID-19.
The Governor repeatedly referred to the need for prayer to get through this:
“We’ve got a lot of praying to do tonight.”