Thursday’s Obama Schedule
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[Updated 1:38 p.m. ET] In other levee news, Plaquemines Parish President said earlier today that officials planned to breach a levee on the east bank there to relive pressure after Isaac brought massive flooding to the area.
Gov. Bobby Jindal just said during a Baton Rouge, Louisiana, news conference: "We are proceeding with plans to purposely breach that levee today between 2 and 3 p.m. The idea is to allow that water to flow out of that area. Now that the winds have shifted they're planning on having pumps on site to help de-water that area as well."
[Updated 1:31 p.m. ET] Gov. Bobby Jindal says Mississippi officials plan to intentionally breach the dam near Lake Tangipahoa to prevent if from breaking.
The river stood at more than 17 feet this morning, more than 2 feet above flood stage, according to the National Weather Service, which predicted the river could reach 19.5 feet by tomorrow.
Near Kentwood, Louisiana, in the evacuation zone, the river could reach 17 feet, which is 4 feet above flood stage. Officials say an intentional breach would send water into a forested area rather than Louisiana towns, Jindal said.
[Updated 1:19 p.m. ET] We're focusing pretty heavily on the situation along the Tangipahoa River right now, but remember we have a state-by-state breakdown of situations unfolding in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama.
[Updated 1:13 p.m. ET] The Terrebone General Medical Center in Houma, Louisiana, is short on Type O blood, according to CNN affiliate WWL. All types of blood donations are welcome at the hospital's Blood Donor Center, but the need for Type O is most critical. If you're in the area and able to give blood, please call (985) 873-4025 or (985) 873-4029 to set up an appointment.
[Updated 1:09 p.m. ET] The Tangipahoa Parish government has issued a statement on its website saying the dam is damaged but not broken. It says there are shelters at Hammond West Side Elementary Montessori School, Hammond Junior High Magnet School, Natalbany Elementary School, Nesom Middle School, Amite High School and Kentwood High Magnet School.
Gov. Bobby Jindal will hold a news conference at the parish's Council chambers at 2 p.m. CT, the statement says.
An emergency alert beneath the statement calls the dam's failure "imminent."
[Updated 1:03 p.m. ET] While there have been operations all over the southeastern portion of Louisiana – including the overnight evacuation of about 150 people in Plaquemines Parish – rescue efforts homed in on St. John the Baptist Parish last night, said Louisiana National Guard Lt. Col. Mike Kazmierzak.
High-water vehicles, local police and troops evacuated more than 3,000 people, and those efforts are still ongoing, he said. They are heading to shelters throughout the state.
[Updated 12:54 p.m. ET] In July, the Enterprise-Journal in McComb, Mississippi, reported that Percy Quin State Park officials planned to work on the dam some time after this coming Monday.
The plan called for Lake Tangipahoa to be drained 6 to 10 feet so the dam and spillway valve could be "reworked," the paper reported, citing park manager Will Busby. The project was slated to take all winter.
[Updated 12:46 p.m. ET] The Louisiana Emergency Management Agency says that if the dam fails, water levels along the Tangipahoa River near Kentwood could quickly reach 17 feet.
The person I think we should be thanking is the Republican Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindahl, for all his hard work and tremendous accomplishment in the face of Hurricane Isaac ... and not that long ago, during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010.
Oily waves come ashore in Orange Beach, Ala., Wednesday,June 30, 2010. Heavy seas from Tropical Storm Alex helped push more oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster towards the Florida and Alabama coasts. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)