Gov. John Bel Edwards is requesting a presidential emergency declaration as Louisiana continues to experience severe winter weather.
Edwards submitted his request to President Joe Biden Wednesday evening. He sought direct federal assistance, specifically in response to extended power outages and also Emergency Protective measures under the FEMA Public Assistance program.
Tens of thousands of people in the Baton Rouge area remained without power Wednesday as winter weather continued to move through the region.
“Extreme winter weather, including record low temperatures, snow, sleet and freezing rain, has been destructive for many areas of Louisiana, most notably through continued power and water outages across the state," Edwards said in a statement. "This emergency declaration will help Louisiana better respond to this crisis and protect the health and safety of our people.”
Edwards spoke with Biden on Tuesday about the devastating impact the weather has had on the state, including causing at least three deaths and leaving thousands without power for several days.
On Wednesday, 62,000 Louisiana households still did not have power, according to a statement from the governor's office. Thirty-six water outages throughout and 178 boil water advisories have also affected residents.
As Fat Tuesday rolled in, so did plunging temperatures across Louisiana and Mississippi that broke records spanning back more than a century.
“I am confident that working with our federal and local partners we can overcome these challenges, which are felt particularly hard in communities still recovering from hurricanes since last year,” Edwards said.