Parish declares state of emergency

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017

NATCHEZ — Concordia Parish Police Jury President Jimmy Wilkinson declared a state of emergency Monday for the parish in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath.

The parish evoked the state of emergency because of “expectations of damage due to winds and flooding from torrential rains.”

After dumping staggering amounts of rainfall over Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, Tropical Storm Harvey moved Monday off the mainland and back into the Gulf of Mexico. As of Monday night, the storm was expected to hit the upper Texas coast again before making a push northward later this week.

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Declaring a state of emergency essentially aids the parish in preparing a response to an emergency and coordinating with other agencies. Wilkinson said the parish had begun preparation of emergency protocol.

“We met today (Monday) with the department heads, the sheriff’s department (and) the police department on the weather coming up,” he said. “We kind of established where we’re going to be meeting at, sandbags being built and distributed out, where we’re going to be distributed.”

Wilkinson said the parish is anticipating approximately five inches of rainfall, though he said the National Weather Service would not provide an estimated total rainfall until the storm system makes landfall again.

“We’re preparing for the worst, but we’re hoping for the best,” he said.

In addition to preparing an emergency response, initiating a state of emergency also allows for possible reimbursements to cover damages caused by the storm.

“It covers the parish in the event that we have any expenditures due to the storm that are reimbursable from the state or the federal government,” jury secretary-treasurer Kevin Friloux said.

Wilkinson said another meeting with law enforcement officials would take place at 1 p.m. Wednesday in preparation of the storm.