Harvey

Fallen bricks from a home damaged by Hurricane Harvey sit on the ground Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, in Missouri City, Texas. Harvey rolled over the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday, smashing homes and businesses and lashing the shore with wind and rain so intense that drivers were forced off the road because they could not see in front of them. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

David J. Phillip

Update 3:37 p.m. Aug.27

LSU sent a message to students Sunday afternoon promising help for students from Texas as their family members and friends endured massive floods.

The university urged students to contact their college counselors at 225-578-8281. Students looking for immediate mental health resources can call a hotline at 225-924-3900. And LSU offers a food pantry at room 350 of the Student Union for any students in need of free food.

"Just as Gov. Edwards mentioned in his message to Louisiana citizens earlier today, Texas has been both a good neighbor and friend to Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, as well as subsequent events," wrote LSU President F. King Alexander in a message to students. "Now, it is time for us to return the favor."

The Red Cross has also opened a shelter in Rapides Parish for anyone in need during the severe weather, said Catherine Heitman, a spokeswoman for the Louisiana Department of Children and Families. As of noon Sunday, there were 16 people taking shelter in the Grace Christian Center in Glenmora — eight of who are from Texas, Heitman said.  

latest update: noon Sunday, Aug. 27

A search-and-rescue team from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is in eastern Texas to assist as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey reach catastrophic levels, especially in the Houston area, said Richard Carbo, spokesman for Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards.

Carbo said two other teams — each also with 10 agents, 10 trucks and 10 boats — are on standby, ready to head into Texas, if needed. The first search-and-rescue team arrived Saturday in eastern Texas.

However, Edwards on Sunday afternoon warned Louisianans, especially those in southwest Louisiana, to recognize that in terms of weather and heavy rains, "we are not out of the woods."

"This storm is wreaking havoc along the Gulf Coast," Edwards said in the statement. "I am asking all Louisianans to remain vigilant and pay attention to your local news. Louisiana will remain in this storm’s path for the next week, from Southwest Louisiana to North Louisiana."

Edwards said most recent forecasts show the storm system making its way closer to Louisiana in the next 48 hours, "causing heavy rainfall and potentially life-threatening flooding."  

Two officials from the Louisiana Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are also in Texas, there to help coordinate out-of-state resources coming to the Lone Star state, Carbo said. They also arrived Saturday.

"We want to be as helpful as we can to Texas," Carbo said. However, he said Louisiana's leaders also are working to ensure this state is not caught off guard without necessary resources if the incoming weather becomes threatening to locals. 

"Nearly 12 years ago, Texans opened their doors to the people of Louisiana when Hurricane Katrina devastated our state," Edwards said. "In 2016, Texas Taskforce 1 was dispatched to our state to provide support during the historic floods. We will do nothing less to support to the people of Texas in any way that we can as they respond and recover from Hurricane Harvey.”

State and federal officials continue to monitor how the storm and how it will affect Louisiana. 

In Texas, at least two people are dead and more than a dozen injured due to the storm, which hardest so far in Corpus Christi and Houston. The storm could linger for days in the region and could unload as much as 40 inches of rain on cities, including Houston.

Follow Grace Toohey on Twitter, @grace_2e.