News > Press Releases
Aug 29, 2012
BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal sent a letter to the federal government requesting an expedited major disaster declaration for the state as a result of the widespread damage and continuing impacts of Hurricane Isaac.
The widespread impact of Hurricane Isaac has escalated to a point that meets the requirements of the Stafford Act for an expedited major disaster declaration.
Below is the Governor’s letter to the federal government:
August 29, 2012
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D. C.
Through: Mr. Tony Robinson
FEMA Region VI
800 North Loop 288
Denton, TX 76209-3698
Dear Mr. President:
Under the provisions of Section 401 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. § 5121-5207 (Stafford Act), and implemented by 44 CFR § 206.36, I request that you declare an expedited Major Disaster for the State of Louisiana as a result of the continuing impacts of Hurricane Isaac. As this storm slowly makes its way inland, its projected path has either already impacted or continues to threaten well over 75% of the State’s population – passing over the metropolitan areas of New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Alexandria, Monroe, Ruston, and Shreveport – over the next 48 hours.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued advisories placing all of the State under a Hurricane Warning, Hurricane, Watch, Tropical Storm Warning, Tropical Storm Watch, Flash Flood Watch, Dangerous Storm Surge, and Tornado Watch. The NWS has issued dozens of advisories on this event. The latest, NWS Intermediate Advisory 34B (issued at 2 PM CDT), projects the path to take at least 36 more hours before it is predicted to pass northward into Arkansas.
There are currently fifty-eight (58) parishes that have issued declarations of emergency in response to this incident, with additional parishes preparing to make emergency declarations even as they take emergency protective measures to prepare for this dangerous hurricane, to provide support to parishes directly impacted by the hurricane or other severe weather events generated by Isaac, or prepare to be impacted by sheltering and evacuation operations.
Search and rescue missions are underway in multiple coastal parishes while, in other parishes, conditions are still too hazardous to commence rescue efforts. As of 12 PM today, the Louisiana Public Service Commission (PSC) reported over 650,000 power outages, representing over 31% of all utilities in Louisiana. At the current time, the outages are concentrated in Southeast Louisiana where the storm has yet to fully pass. We anticipate further widespread utility interruption as the storm makes its way across the State.
The State began emergency protective measures on August 26, 2012, and these are continuing. Reports of coastal and inland flooding, power outages, downed trees, and blocked or flooded roads are our first indications of the widespread debris that creates a threat to the lives and property of the citizens of Louisiana. In response to the situation, I have taken appropriate action under State law and have declared a statewide emergency on August 26, 2012. Furthermore, I have directed the execution of the State Emergency Operations Plan on that day in support of the statewide emergency declaration in accordance with Section 401 of the Stafford Act. A copy of the declaration of the state of emergency is attached. The following information is furnished on the nature and amount of State and local resources that have been or will be used to alleviate the conditions of this disaster:
Office of the Governor
Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness
Louisiana National Guard
Louisiana Department of Public Safety
Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
Department of Children and Family Services
Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality
Louisiana Public Service Commission
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
The State of Louisiana is currently engaged in recovery efforts for 7 open federal disaster declarations, and is still recovering from four major disasters over the last five years. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that impacted the State in 2005 have been classified as the largest disaster in U.S. history. In August and September 2008, Louisiana was hit by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. In 2010, the State was impacted by the only Spill of National Significance in our nation’s history. In 2011, the State was impacted by historic flooding of the Mississippi River. In addition to several statewide declarations over the past twelve months, the State is currently engaged in response to two active State declarations – 82 BJ 2012 (Threat of Subsidence and Subsurface Instability) and 87 BJ 2012 (Saltwater Intrusion in Mississippi River) – which have strained emergency management personnel at the State and local government level. All of these successive incidents have depleted the State and local governments’ ability to respond to a strengthening hurricane rapidly approaching.
In conclusion, the above factors and continuing impact and threat of Hurricane Isaac justify the declaration of an expedited major disaster for Public Assistance, Category A and B, and Direct Federal Assistance.
OMB No. 1660-0009/FEMA Form 010-0-13