Louisiana's Governor Warns Residents To Brace For Harvey

Aug 29, 2017
Originally published on August 29, 2017 8:16 am
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

The governor of Louisiana is telling people there to brace for more rain, more wind. Although some neighborhoods, specifically Lake Charles, La., are already flooded and forecasters say the worst is yet to come. NPR's Jason Beaubien is in Lake Charles. He joins us on the line.

Jason, what's it look like in Lake Charles right now?

JASON BEAUBIEN, BYLINE: Well, you know, it's still raining. And as I drove in here yesterday 80 miles north of here, you already had places that were completely saturated. And now they're saying more rain is on the way. You've got mobile home parks here that currently are looking like these shallow lakes with trailers parked in them. So it's very concerning.

MARTIN: Louisiana, though, has obviously seen more than its fair share of storms like these. Today is this strange, grim anniversary. It's the 12th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's second landfall, when it slammed into New Orleans. Louisiana was also hit by Rita and Ike. So Jason, residents there have seen this kind of thing before, right?

BEAUBIEN: Yeah, absolutely. You know, people for the most part here are taking this in stride right now maybe even if they shouldn't. Some people, I have to say, were heading up and packing up and heading north to get out of here yesterday. This morning it's quite calm, even in neighborhoods that are completely filled with water here in Lake Charles. Most houses last night, they had cars in the driveway, lights on. Things were sort of going on as normal.

I had talked to this 26-year-old, Blake Nuggent. Water was actually coming up his driveway, and he was firing up his barbecue under his carport and getting ready to grill some steaks.

BLAKE NUGGENT: I haven't been worried yet, but I'm getting that way. I'm curious to see how tonight's going to be before I start paying too much attention to it. I'm more worried about them people in Texas and stuff right now, man, truthfully.

BEAUBIEN: Amazing thing is that, you know, a few days ago you had people here from Louisiana going over to help people in Houston. You had Louisiana officials sort of getting ready to help evacuees. They were setting up shelters, they were thinking that they were going to be the place where the evacuees were going to be coming to because of this storm. And now you have it that it could be turned around the other way and you could have people from here actually having to flee somewhere else. So there's great concern. It looks like Harvey is going to come back ashore, and it could come right back ashore here at Lake Charles.

MARTIN: Okay, and we'll be following that. NPR's Jason Beaubien reporting from Lake Charles, La., where residents and officials there are preparing for the effects of Tropical Storm Harvey. Hey, Jason, thanks so much.

BEAUBIEN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.