18:30 Newscast August 31

Governor John Bel Edwards says Louisiana is sheltering hundreds of evacuees from Texas, and preparing for thousands more. Emelie Gunn reports…

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Irma is now a category 3 hurricane in the Atlantic with winds up to 115 miles per hour. Forecasters say Irma will be a major hurricane by the time it reaches the Caribbean early next week. Governor Edwards says while we aren’t sure where the system will go, there is a chance it could head for the Bayou State.

The western half of Calcasieu Parish is under a voluntary evacuation as flooding from the Sabine River is possible. Tom Hoefer with the parish police jury says fewer than one thousand homes and camps are included in the evacuation. He says residents in the area have plenty of time to get out of their homes.

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The river is extremely swollen after the flood gates were opened at the Toledo Bend Reservoir.

The Department of Agriculture’s mobile pet shelter has been deployed in Lake Charles to help with pet evacuations. Ag Commissioner Mike Strain says they will do whatever they can to ensure pets are safe, while their owners are coping with the disaster. He says currently they have 86 pets in their care.

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The department is providing 200 soft sided carriers for pets traveling by bus.