As Hurricane Harvey continues to blast parts of Texas in what is being described as the most extreme rain event in U.S. history, Louisiana is preparing for the worst.
The storm, which has taken the lives of at least 15 people so far and displaced thousands more in Texas, is expected to make a second landfall Wednesday in Louisiana. Already that state is being battered with rain from the storm.
The horror in Texas evokes memories of Hurricane Katrina, which hit Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2005, almost exactly 12 years to the day Harvey will arrive. Katrina killed nearly 2,000 people and left much of the state devastated.
“The worst is likely to come for us here,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) said Monday. Harvey is going to “drop an awful lot of rain,” he added.
So much rain has already drenched Texas ― particularly the Houston area ― that the National Weather Service added a new color to its maps to illustrate the intensity. More than 40 inches have fallen in parts of the state, leaving people stranded on their roofs desperate for help. As many as 30,000 Texans could end up in shelters.
“I’ve cried for two days straight because we didn’t have flood insurance,” Deresharee Laracuente of Katy, Texas, told HuffPost. “I’m just thinking about all the things I worked so hard to provide the kids and my family. … Now it’s all gone.”
Heavy flash floods are expected in southwest Louisiana as Harvey hits on Wednesday. Forecasters said the state, which has already received five to nine inches of rain, could see more than 20 inches this week, ABC News reports.
“We are not going to escape this. We are going to get more rain,” Dick Gremillion, an emergency preparedness official in southwest Louisiana, said Tuesday, according to ABC News.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D) said 90 percent of pumps are operating in preparation for more rain. He stressed that city residents should “stay home” because of the threat of the storm and the “diminished capacity of drainage systems,” NOLA.com reports.
“It’s going to be a tough couple of days for us, but we’re going to make it through,” Landrieu said.
Schools across the state have been closed in preparation for the storm, while places like Cameron Parish in southwest Louisiana are currently under an evacuation order. President Donald Trump also approved an emergency declaration for the state.
Residents are expecting the worst and hoping for the best.
“The closer we get to the 29th, everybody in New Orleans knows your heart beats a little faster, your palms a little bit sweatier,” City Councilman Jason Williams told NOLA.com on Monday. “And all of the devastation that we’ve seen on the TVs and in the paper has only exacerbated that.”