Tropical Storm Gordon is expected to hit the United States as a Category 1 hurricane somewhere along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The location of landfall is still unknown as the storm continues to shift and change course. However, New Orleans is bracing for the impact that the storm could bring if it changes directions and brings high storm surges and flooding rains to the city.
Louisiana’s Governor John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency to activate members of the National Guard. In addition, the state of emergency ensures that boats, high-water vehicles, and helicopters are available to assist in case of a disaster.
In anticipation of a threat, New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell declared a state of emergency for the city. Schools and most public offices across the city will close in anticipation of the storm. Schools outside the city have also announced they will be closing, including Catholic schools and public schools in the parishes of St. Charles, St. Tammany, St. John the Baptist, Jefferson, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard.
Because rain totals could be over six inches, Mayor Cantrell advised residents they could park vehicles on neutral grounds beginning at 2 p.m. on Tuesday as long as the vehicles do not block traffic or street cars.
Safety Reminders for Flooded Areas
The first and most important rule about driving in flooded areas is not to drive on flooded streets if you can avoid it. If you approach a flooded street, stop and find another route. There is a real danger that the road could be washed away or broken under the flood waters. In addition, there is no way to tell how deep the water actually is on the road. Just a few inches of water can carry a car away or leave you stranded with rising flood waters around your vehicle. Also, downed power lines could be hidden by the water, resulting in a deadly electric current carried by the water.
If you are stranded in your vehicle in flood waters, try not to panic. Turn on your emergency flashers so that other vehicles can see your vehicle. Call 911 for emergency assistance if necessary. You must judge whether it is safe to leave your vehicle to reach higher ground or stay in your vehicle to wait for assistance. It can be very difficult to make this decision, especially when you are trapped in a car with rising flood waters.
Before the storm arrives, reviewing safety tips for floods can be very helpful. Some resources you may want to review include:
- Ready – Website for flood safety information from the Department of Homeland Security
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
Accidents During Rain and Storms
If you are injured in a traffic accident during a storm, you might be entitled to receive compensation for your damages, losses, and injuries. In addition to the storm, the actions of the other driver may have contributed to the cause of the crash.
Contact Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm for a free case review by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889. You can learn more about filing a personal injury claim and your right to recover compensation for your injuries during your free consultation with a New Orleans accident attorney.
Source: “New Orleans, surrounding areas prepare as Gordon strengthens in Gulf.” Nick Reimann. The New Orleans Advocate. 3 September 2018.