Jindal Declares Emergency Ahead Of More Winter Weather

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Gov. Bobby Jindal has declared a state of emergency ahead of more winter weather moving through Louisiana.

         The governor's declaration Wednesday says the National Weather Service reports a strong arctic cold front moving east from Texas is bringing with it sleet and freezing rain which will impact Louisiana over the next several days.

         The weather service has issued a winter weather advisory and winter storm warning for the state's northern parishes, with below freezing, night-time temperatures predicted into the weekend making driving conditions hazardous.

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         The state of emergency extends to Thursday, April 2, unless terminated sooner.

         Meanwhile, Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols said state government offices would be closed Thursday in the following parishes: Avoyelles, Bienville, Bossier, Caddo, Caldwell, Catahoula, Claiborne, East Carroll, Franklin, Grant, Jackson, LaSalle, Lincoln, Madison, Morehouse, Ouachita, Rapides, Richland, Tensas, Union, Vernon, Webster and West Carroll.

         The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for areas north of Interstate 20 until noon Thursday.

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         The Shreveport-Bossier City area reported snow early Thursday morning, while the Monroe area received a mixture of freezing rain and sleet.

         Several public school districts decided to close for the day, but a number of others were open.

         The University of Louisiana at Monroe, Grambling State University and all campuses of Louisiana Delta Community College were closed. Louisiana Tech was to have classes as scheduled.

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         State police said bridges and overpasses would be a problem during the morning hours.

         As a precaution, state highway official closed Interstate 49 inside the city of Shreveport and to the Arkansas line, and Interstate 220 is closed around north Shreveport and Bossier City.

         Central Louisiana was under a winter weather advisory until noon Thursday.

         Forecasters said light freezing rain was likely during the morning turning to rain by afternoon.



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