Governor Kathleen Blanco issued a state of emergency in Louisiana at 5pm Friday, as state leaders continued to track the path of Hurricane Katrina. "The declaration of a state of emergency is in anticipation of possible damage from Hurricane Katrina should she strike Louisiana," said Deputy Press Secretary Roderick Hawkins. Hawkins said the state of emergency declaration places the Louisiana National Guard on standby. "It puts us on standby just in case we need to mobilize the national guard," Hawkins said.
"We are in the strike zone," Governor Blanco said during a late afternoon live interview on CNN. Hawkins said the governor is holding a conference call among state agencies starting at 5pm Friday. He said decisions about possible evacuations will likely be made during that conference call. The governor's office said all state agencies will be fully operational by Saturday morning.