Rice Harvest Threatened In Louisiana As Harvey Nears Texas

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The possibility of heavy rain from Hurricane Harvey is bad news for farmers hoping to harvest their rice crop.

         Harvey was expected to hit the Texas coast late Friday or Saturday. Long-term, there was a danger that it might linger or move slowly toward Louisiana, bringing torrential rains. Data on a National Weather Service website indicate that 15 to 20 inches of rain could hit extreme southwest Louisiana near the Texas line over the next week.

         Gov. John Bel Edwards issued an emergency declaration to prepare for the storm. Officials have urged vigilance from southwest Louisiana to New Orleans, where recent flash floods revealed problems with the city's drainage system. The weather service data show New Orleans could get more than 6 inches of rain in the coming week.

         Edwards was set to travel to southwest Louisiana on Friday, for a luncheon address and then a meeting with Calcasieu Parish emergency officials.

         LSU's Agricultural Center says Harvey threatens a 2017 rice crop already plagued by various weather problems. In Calcasieu Parish, the center said, about 80 percent of the crop is in. But farmers in the Vinton area have been unable to harvest and the rain could mean more delays.


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