Weather Update August 21, 2023

It appears that what has now become known as TD Nine (will it be Harold?) has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.  Current forecast tracks have it strengthening to Tropical Storm force winds in the next 24-36 hours and making landfall in the Corpus Christi, Texas, vicinity.  Louisiana may only receive some much-needed rainfall along the coast associated with TD 9.



Figure 1 – Seven-day forecast as of August 21, 2023

As mentioned last week, as we near the high point of historical tropical activity (September 10), the tropics have now come alive.  As you can see from Figure 1 above, we now have five (5) areas to watch.  The quick summary as of August 21, 2023, is Franklin is likely to turn due north soon and impact Hispaniola, then pass between the continental US and Bermuda, then head out to sea.  Gert is likely to turn north as well and head into the northern Atlantic east of Bermuda.  Emily and the unnamed weather blob to the east are likely to follow Gert’s path into the northern Atlantic.  As always, please monitor official NOAA and NWS forecasts for decision-making purposes.

Extreme Heat and Wildfires

In response to the prolonged heat wave the state is experiencing and the reports of wildfires in the state, Governor Edwards has issued a declaration of emergency from August 11, 2023, to September 9, 2023.  The declaration is posted here for your reference.  The LABEOC will update this message as the situation develops.

As a reminder, here are some tips that we can follow to stay safe during this extended heatwave:

  1. Limit Outdoor Activities: If possible, stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day, usually between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you need to go outside, try to do so early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  2. Wear Appropriate Clothing: Opt for lightweight, loose-fitting, and light-colored clothing to help your body breathe and reflect the sunlight.
  3. Avoid Strenuous Activities (when possible): Postpone or limit strenuous activities, such as exercising or heavy lifting, during extreme heat.
  4. Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, as they can contribute to dehydration.
  5. Eat Light Meals: Consume light, easily digestible meals that don’t require your body to generate excess heat during digestion.
  6. Use Sunscreen: Apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays, even if you’re just going outside for a short time.
  7. Know the Signs of Heat-Related Illnesses: Learn the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke. If you or someone else experiences symptoms such as heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, nausea, confusion, or a high body temperature, seek medical attention immediately.
  8. Stay Humble: Remember that extreme heat can be dangerous. Don’t underestimate its potential risks, and take necessary precautions to keep yourself and others safe.
  9. Keep Pets Safe: Ensure your pets have access to shade, water, and a cool environment. Never leave them in a hot car.
  10. Monitor Vulnerable Individuals: Keep an eye on infants, elderly individuals, and people with chronic health conditions, as they are more susceptible to heat-related illnesses.

Stay safe.


More Heat Advisories for the Holiday weekend

This summer has been extraordinarily hot, and we can expect more of the same for the long Fourth of July Weekend.  Please continue to take proper precautions while commemorating our Independence Day.  The infographic below from the CDC provides a thought-provoking reality; we lose more people annually to heat-related deaths than to hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and floods.

Take the heat seriously.  Have fun, but please protect yourselves and your loved ones.

Major Cyber Attack at OMV Vendor, Louisianans Should Act Urgently to Protect Their Identities

June 15, 2023

BATON ROUGE, La. – Louisiana’s Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) is one of a still undetermined number of government entities, major businesses and organizations to be affected by the unprecedented MOVEit data breach.

MOVEit is an industry-leading third party data transfer service used to send large files. It is widely used across the country and around the world, and reports are rapidly emerging of newly discovered exposures of sensitive data in this major international cyber attack.

There is no indication at this time that cyber attackers who breached MOVEit have sold, used, shared or released the OMV data obtained from the MOVEit attack. The cyber attackers have not contacted state government. But all Louisianans should take immediate steps to safeguard their identity.

OMV believes that all Louisianans with a state-issued driver’s license, ID, or car registration have likely had the following data exposed to the cyber attackers:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security Number
  • Birthdate
  • Height
  • Eye Color
  • Driver’s License Number
  • Vehicle Registration Information
  • Handicap Placard Information

Gov. John Bel Edwards met with the Unified Command Group at 11 a.m. Thursday to be briefed on the incident, where he instructed the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP), Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV), Louisiana State Police (LSP), and the Office of Technology Services (OTS) to act to inform Louisianans of the breach and their best next steps as soon as possible.

We recommend all Louisianans take the following steps immediately:

  1. Prevent Unauthorized New Account Openings or Loans and Monitor Your Credit

Individuals can freeze and unfreeze their credit for free, which stops others from opening new accounts and borrowing money in your name. Freezing your credit does not prevent the use of any existing credit cards or bank accounts. Freezing your credit may be done quickly online or by contacting the three major credit bureaus by phone:

(888) 909-8872 

Please also request and review your credit report from these agencies to look for suspicious activity.

  1. Change All Passwords

As an additional precaution, consider changing all passwords for online accounts (examples: banking, social media, and healthcare portals) in the event your personal data was used to access these accounts. Utilize multi-factor authentication when able. Learn more about password protection at

  1. Protect Your Tax Refund and Returns with the Internal Revenue Service

To prevent someone else from filing returns or receiving your federal tax refund, request an “Identity Protection Pin” from the Internal Revenue Service by signing up at: or calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. 

  1. Check your Social Security Benefits

All individuals who are eligible, applied for, and/or are receiving social security benefits (including disability), please consider registering for a account at to stop others from stealing your benefits. If you suspect Social Security fraud, call the Office of Inspector General hotline at 1-800-269-0271, Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or file a complaint online at

  1. Report Suspected Identity Theft

If you suspect any abnormal activity involving your data, including financial information, contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP or visit immediately.

The State of Louisiana will be issuing additional information in the coming days. Additional tips on protecting your data and identity can be found at and

GOHSEP Director Casey Tingle will hold a press conference 6/16/23 at 10:30 a.m. to take media questions.

10:30 a.m. – Press Conference
GOHSEP Press Room
7667 Independence Blvd.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806

Increased Threat of Severe Weather March 24, 2023

Please be aware that there is an increased risk of severe weather on Friday, March 24.  Please monitor your weather service of choice throughout the day as well as local emergency professionals for the latest updates.

Stay Safe

Sever Weather March 2, 2023

Louisiana faces an increased risk of severe weather and tornadic activity this evening and into the overnight hours.  Please make sure that you have ways to receive weather alerts overnight.

The National Weather Service graphics for severe potential in your area.


If you are traveling eastbound on I-10 west of the intersection with I-49 over the next few days, expect delays.  Secretary Wilson provided pictures of the reason.

Updated Graphics for Winter Weather Threat this week

The National Weather Service (NWS) New Orleans has produced updated weather graphics concerning the significant cold weather threat at the end of the week.  As always, please reference your local Emergency Management office for advice concerning your area.

Dangerous Cold Temperatures Later This Week

A strong cold front will move into the state on Thursday, causing temperatures to drop into the 20s as early as that afternoon. Strong winds with gusts up to forty miles per hour will accompany the front, resulting in wind chills into the teens. Cold temperatures will last into the Christmas weekend. Potential impacts include freezing weather. In some areas, minor snow accumulations cannot be ruled out for Thursday afternoon and night.

and away we go…

The 2022 season is getting a head start, thanks to Agatha crossing over Mexico from the Pacific.  The National Hurricane Center’s current 5-day outlook is below. While it appears that Louisiana is not in the crosshairs right now, we must remain vigilant.

Policyholder Bill of Rights

From our friends in the Louisiana Department of Insurance.

The Office of Consumer Advocacy, within the Department of Insurance, is charged with informing, educating, assisting, and inspiring citizens to become more aware of the important role insurance plays their lives. We exist to serve the citizens of Louisiana.

With yet another storm season approaching, the time for citizens to prepare is now. Given the increase in frequency and strength of storms, we recognized the need for a more aggressive, proactive approach to reach as many people as possible. There is a real need to explain how components of an insurance policy, like coverages and limits or exclusions and deductibles, work and why they are critical to protecting their dearest asset. We cover practical ways to minimize or avoid risk. Perhaps most enlightening, we take the mystery out of the claims process and show policyholders what they can do in advance to ensure they are well prepared to navigate it safely, and with less stress. We deliver this service through in-person meetings, multimedia presentations, and virtual events as we continue to explore other channels. We want our citizens to know we are here to help and protect them through the “Policyholders Bill of Rights”.

We have helped thousands of citizens with their post disaster issues. Through our formal complaint process, we have the regulatory power to ensure agents, adjusters, and insurance companies perform ethically under the Louisiana Insurance Code. Our work has been well received and our sessions have provided real, measurable help to citizens.

For more information see link below.


Louisiana Department of Insurance


New Week, New Weather threat

There is a new threat for serious weather later in the week.  Below is the graphic from the NWS.


Please stay safe.

Increased Risk for Severe Weather 3/21-3/22

The national weather service is monitoring the risk for severe weather over the next 48 hours.


The main threats associated with any severe storms will be:


  • Tornadoes will be possible, and a few could be strong (EF2+) and/or long track
  • There is potential for a significant tornado outbreak.

Damaging Winds:

  • Wind gusts greater than 60 mph will be possible.
  • Trees and powerlines could be damaged and lead to isolated/scattered power outages

Large Hail:

  • Large hail over 1 inch in diameter will be possible


  • Generally 2-3 inches Tuesday with locally higher amounts possible
  • Rainfall rates of 2-5″ per hour possible, mainly north of I-10/I-12

NWS graphic for 3/21


NWS Graphic for 3/22


National Weather Service Spring Flood Outlook

The LABEOC participated in the National Weather Service flood outlook briefing this week.  Below is the summary from the NWS…


Increased Cyber Threat

With hostilities commencing between Russia and the Ukraine, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has increased the threat awareness level, activating the shields up program.  CISA recommends all organizations—regardless of size—adopt a heightened posture when it comes to cybersecurity and protecting their most critical assets.  The comprehensive list of measures is available at:

Some simple measures that everyone can enforce right now:

  1. Don’t click on links that come from people you don’t know, better yet, if a company sends you something, don’t use the email link, access the website through the browser
  2. It’s a pain, but activate two-factor authentication.  This is the BEST way to protect your business and personnel assets.
  3. While you setting up MFA, change your passwords.  Never a bad idea.
  4. Back-up your data.  This goes for key business data sources as well as personal resources.
  5. If the computer is going to be unused for an extended period (like the Mardi Gras break), unplug the internet or turn off the WiFi.  Bad guys can’t get in if there is no opening.

If you or your business becomes a victim of a cyberattack, contact:  They will bring all the state and federal law enforcement assets to the response.


January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and the FBI is asking partners to help us share information to #EndTrafficking.  

 The disturbing reality is that people are being bought, sold, and exploited every day. Victims are held against their will through force, fraud, or physical or psychological coercion. Together we can help prevent this trauma. 

 Please help by sharing the attached graphic on your social media with the hashtag #EndTrafficking

 If you have a tip about a potential trafficking situation, please call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888. The FBI investigates all forms of human trafficking, regardless of the victim’s age or nationality. Learn more at


Business Assistance Needed

If your business can provide temporary or even permanent laundromat services in Terrebonne in two – possibly three locations, please contact us at


Please note:  Business must be registered in Louisiana and certified to contract with the state of Louisiana.

Colonial Pipeline restores two fuel lines

Colonial Pipeline restores two fuel lines temporarily shut down for Hurricane Ida


August 31, 2021, 9:56 am EDT

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Colonial Pipeline said it has restored operations of two fuel lines in the South that were temporarily shut down because of Hurricane Ida.

According to Colonial, crews worked on Monday to restore service to Lines 1 and 2. The two lines — which run from Houston to Greensboro — were proactively shut down as a safety precaution in advance of Hurricane Ida making landfall off the coast of Louisiana.

The lines went into operation before midnight on Monday.

“This quick turnaround was made possible thanks to our employees’ continued dedication to safety and excellence in everything they do,” said Wes Dunbar, vice president of operations for Colonial Pipeline. “We also would not have had the success we are seeing today without the coordination from our local, state and federal partners, and the strong relationships we have built with them up and down the pipeline.”

The shut down of the two lines had many drivers wondering if we’re going to see higher gas prices or even a gas shortage soon.

According to the pipeline, it shut down the fuel lines on Sunday. The company called the temporary move “a precautionary and routine safety measure.”

The company sent Action 9′s Jason Stoogenke a statement, which read “fuel supply continues to be available throughout the Southeast from the numerous terminals located along the supply route.”

Patrick De Haan of GasBuddy said that it’s routine for a gas company to close lines in cases like this. He thinks there may be a bump in prices but not too much.

“This is going to be fairly minor – a few cents a gallon,” he told Stoogenke. “Maybe as much as five or 15 cents. I think in a worst-case scenario, 15 cents. But this is not a Colonial Pipeline outage that’s going to be a long period of time. This is not a Hurricane Harvey. This is not a Hurricane Katrina.”

Stoogenke asked De Haan about gas shortages.

“If everyone can just react accordingly — if you need gas, get it. If you don’t, don’t get it — we will make it through this just fine. But if humans all react by panicking and filling up, then the problem just like April is going to be much worse,” he said.

The 5,500-mile pipeline provides nearly half of the East Coast’s gasoline and diesel. Colonial Pipeline said its other two fuel lines remained operational and will not be impacted by the storm.

This is the same pipeline that was forced to go offline after a ransomware attack in May. That led to panic buying and a gas shortage that stretched across the Southeast.

Jim Miller owns a 1963 Ford Galaxy 500, which consumes a lot of petrol.

“Gas is always going to go up. Guess what? We’re always going to have to just suck it up,” he said. “You have a choice? No. You don’t.”

Motorist Mikki Buff said she usually leaves her muscle car at home to save money normally and especially now.

“I have a little car that runs really good on gas and, then, the Mustang sits,” she said.

Industry assesses Ida impact on chemical production (PM update)

August 30, 2021

Hurricane Ida, which struck southeastern Louisiana at noon Sunday, could have a significant impact on multiple petrochemical products, notably polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS), and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). After making landfall near New Orleans with winds up to 150 mph, Ida crept north-northeast across the state, its eye just east of the petrochemical corridor that tracks the Mississippi River. By 4 pm Central time Monday afternoon Ida had weakened to a tropical depression centered near Jackson, Mississippi and heading northeast. Regions further west such as Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas, appear to have escaped any significant impact.

“Regions most affected by the storm included Baton Rouge, Plaquemine, Taft, New Orleans, and regions further east in Louisiana and north to Mississippi,” says Terry Glass, executive director/plastics with IHS Markit. “The full extent of the damage will not be known for several days but plant shutdowns will likely last for several weeks.”

Power outages are the primary concern to the plants as little can be done to determine operational damages until power is restored. Initial reports indicated catastrophic damage to the grid in many regions, including New Orleans. Initial reports indicated power outages throughout the eastern regions of Louisiana and extending as far north as Mississippi. Entergy reported Sunday night that all eight transmission lines that delivered power to New Orleans were out of service, and it will take days to determine the extent of damage to the power grid in metro New Orleans and far longer to restore electrical transmission to the region.

Cracker shutdowns

Chlorine, styrene, propylene, and urethane precursors were reportedly of greatest concern due to the outages as of Monday afternoon. Approximately 19% of the US ethylene capacity was located in the path of this hurricane including ExxonMobil at Baton Rouge, Shell at Norco, Dow at Plaquemine and Taft, Shintech in Plaquemine, and Nova Chemicals at Geismar). About 31% of US chlor-alkali capacity and 41% of US PVC capacity is located in the region directly impacted by Hurricane Ida. There are 18 polyethylene and three polypropylene plants in Louisiana that may have been impacted by the storm which represents 15.6% of US PE capacity and 11% of PP capacity.

Shell had shut down its steam crackers in Norco and Nova Chemicals had shut down its ExxonMobil on Sunday reported that its Baton Rouge facilities were “adjusting operations and shutting down some units and equipment.” Dow on Sunday said it had “safely shut down its manufacturing operations in Louisiana.” Sunday morning, BASF stated that its sites at Geismar, North Geismar, and Vidalia had “begun procedures to idle operations by noon on Sunday.” Southeastern Louisiana is also home to several massive olefin facilities. ExxonMobil produces ethylene, polymer-grade propylene (PGP), PE, and PP at Baton Rouge. Dow produces ethylene, PGP, and PE at its facilities in Hahnville and Plaquemine. Shell’s Norco facility has two large steam crackers producing both ethylene and PGP. Pinnacle Polymers produces PP in Garyville. Nova Chemicals has a large merchant ethylene plant in Geismar. Altogether, about 6.5 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene capacity, or 16% of the US total, is in the region. The region is also home to 3.4 MMt/y of PE capacity (15% of the US total), 2.7 MMt/y of PGP capacity (13%), and 0.9 MMt/y of PP capacity (10%). Shell’s Norco facility represents about 8% of US ethylene glycol capacity.

Steam crackers shut down for the storm are likely to be offline for 2–4 weeks.

Chlor-alkali and vinyls impacted

The vinyls chain has a particularly heavy presence in the parts of Louisiana affected by Ida, with about 4.0 MMt/y of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) capacity in the area, or 40% of the US total, and 3.7 MMt/y of PVC capacity, or 43% of the US total, according to IHS Markit. Formosa Plastics produces VCM and PVC at Baton Rouge; Shintech produces VCM and PVC at Plaquemine, and PVC at Addis; and Westlake Chemical produces PVC and VCM at both Geismar and Plaquemine. Upstream chlor-alkali production in the region represents about 32% of the US total.

The area’s styrene producers—Americas Styrenics at St. James and Cos-Mar at Carville—together have 2.2 MMt/y of capacity, or 44% of the US total. Total Petrochemicals’ 0.6 MMt/y of PS capacity at Carville represents 26% of US capacity.

About 2.8 MMt/y of methanol capacity, or 32% of the US total, is located in the region. Methanex has 2.2 MMt/y of capacity at Geismar, while Koch has about 0.6 MMt/y at St. James.

About 14% of US benzene capacity is in the region, with Dow producing at Plaquemine; ExxonMobil at Baton Rouge; PBF at Chalmette; and Phillips 66 at Belle Chasse.

More than 95% of the Gulf of Mexico’s oil production facilities have been shut down indicating the massive storm is having a significant impact on refineries, particularly in the New Orleans area including PBF, Phillips, Shell, Marathon and two Valero refineries. This accounts for about 1.7 million barrels per day of refinery capacity, representing 9% of the nation’s total.

GOHSEP 4:00pm Update August 28, 2021

The 4:00pm SITREPis posted below.


210829 – GOHSEP Daily Brief