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La. leaders urge residents to prepare for possible hurricane

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 6:42 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - With the temperatures being as hot as they are right now, that leaves the Gulf of Mexico in the perfect condition for a storm, like the one we’re watching, to turn from nothing into something in just a matter of hours. The possibility of what’s now a tropical storm becoming a hurricane by the end of the weekend is becoming more likely by the minute. And, state leaders want to make sure everyone is prepared.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, there is no doubt about that,” said Governor John Bel Edwards in Lake Charles on Thursday, August 26.

Many have still not recovered from previous storms, like Lake Charles from Hurricane Laura, or those in the Capital Region from the flooding back in May or even 2016. Since June, East Baton Rouge Parish has cleaned 1,400 storm drains that were full of sediment and cleared 26,000 feet of storm drainpipes. The parish says this is phase 1 of the $20 million drainage initiative funded by the American Rescue Plan.

“And also, they are doing the work to be sure that generators are ready to go, fuel tanks are topped off and sandbags are out in the sandbag locations. All so our residents will have what they need during the event,” said DPW’s Assistant Chief Administrative Officer Kelvin Hill.

Mike Steele, the Director of Communications at the Governor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, shared with us what people need to be doing themselves in preparation.

“So, it’s important right now that people stay weather aware. They need to know what the forecast is for their region. They need to know if there are any changes to the storm as far as strengthening or the track of the storm and they need to take advantage of the time we have,” said Steele.

Steele also gave some tips for you to do around your home.

“Like put sandbags out, or clear drainage around your property, those type things. Try to take advantage of these next couple of days because it’s a very short window and we don’t have much time,” Steele continued.

State leaders say if the current forecasts hold up some parts of coastal Louisiana could experience tropical storm force winds as early as 4:00 Sunday morning. So, they want to get the point across to people that now is the time to prepare.

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