Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a state of emergency Thursday due to the ongoing severe weather impacting Louisiana this week.

According to the National Weather Service, there is the potential for flash flooding through Friday across much of south Louisiana. Wind gusts in excess of 60 mph are possible along with the potential for large hail.

Much of the state has already dealt with dangerous weather lines for the past several days.

A flood warning and flash flood watch remain in effect for much of southeast Louisiana, including Livingston Parish.

Earlier Thursday, officials in Ascension and Livingston parishes announced a closure to all local waterways would be closed to recreational traffic “until further notice.” The closure went into effect at noon.

A state of emergency is an administrative step that authorizes the use of state resources to aid in storm response efforts. Those efforts will be coordinated through the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP).

Initial requests have been received from parishes for items such as tarps and water pumps, Edwards said.

Additionally, Edwards said GOHSEP is prepared to support the efforts of federal, state and local partners in the ongoing search and rescue operations in the Gulf of Mexico for the crew of a lift boat that capsized this week during an earlier round of severe weather.

As of Thursday morning, rescuers had saved six crewmembers from the capsizing of the Seacor Power lift boat, while another 12 remained missing.

One person, 63-year-old captain David Ledet, has died, according to a report from The Advocate. Citing Lafourche Parish coroner Dr. John King, The Advocate reported that Ledet appeared to have drowned.

“Our prayers are with the missing crew members and their families,” Edwards said. “We have dealt with round after round of severe weather the past several days and expect additional severe weather through the end of the week.

“GOHSEP has already started assisting our local partners with critical items to deal with this threat and those requests could potentially increase until this weather pattern ends. We continue to urge everyone to stay weather aware and have multiple ways to receive emergency alerts.”

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