disaster preparedness

The Lens

Unprotected sections of Interstate 10, to the east and west of the city, will be swamped by storm surge even during a smaller storm, The Lens is reporting.

Red Cross/FEMA Photo Library

On May 24 and 25, purchases of flashlights, batteries, portable generators and other emergency supplies are free from Louisiana's 4 percent state sales tax.

The Louisiana Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday gives residents a chance to prepare for storm season, which begins June 1.

The sales tax holiday applies to the first $1,500 of the purchase price of each item, according to Revenue Secretary Tim Barfield.

Eligible items include: flashlights and candles, portable radios, batteries, and food storage coolers.

Local taxes on these items still apply.

New Orleans made the first round of cities that will ultimately be selected by the Rockefeller Foundation for its 100 Resilient Cities Centennial Challenge. The international non-profit says New Orleans offers more than just water management ideas.

Shannon Donner / US Army Corps of Engineers

Residents along the Lakefront are being advised to brace themselves for some major construction work. The Army Corps of Engineers is starting work on three permanent canal closures and pumps at 17th Street and Orleans and London Avenues.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says agencies throughout the region are working together in preparation for Tropical Storm Karen. He’s confident emergency preparations are in place.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency Thursday after Tropical Storm Karen formed in the Gulf of Mexico and threatened to come ashore over the weekend along the Gulf coast.

The declaration authorizes the state Office and Homeland Security and other state agencies to activate emergency plans for the tropical storm's possible impact on Louisiana parishes.

Back in May, several independent forecast groups predicted an especially active Atlantic hurricane season this year. But with August drawing to a close, we've yet to see a single one.

The Coast Guard is releasing a plan today, devised with state and parish officials, about how best to respond to an oil spill.

A coalition of environmental groups is recommending tougher regulations on oil facilities to prevent possible leaks after severe storms. The group looked at damage reports filed after Hurricane Isaac last year.

Louisiana officials are investigating a Union Pacific train derailment about 60 miles west of Baton Rouge. About 100 homes have been evacuated.

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