UPDATE: The eye of the storm has tried to form, but as of 9:12 p.m. CT has been unsuccessful*. Nevertheless, New Orleans and other are residents are warned of the possibility of a Cat. 2 hurricane. If you cannot bear the possibility of several days without electricity, you must LEAVE NOW. Please stay tuned to your local updates, and if you haven’t done so download the hurricane app (see bottom).
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu held a press conference about Isaac earlier today and told residents that neither the airport nor the Superdome will serve as shelters. Toward that end, individuals who must shelter-in-place should begin preparations including boarding their homes, while evacuees without other resources are encouraged to tap one of the American Red Cross evacuation centers opened throughout the Gulf region.
While the news outlets are keen to remind that Tropical Storm Isaac — set to strike as Hurricane Isaac tomorrow night into Wednesday — comes on the 7th anniversary of Katrina, it is not considered to be as monumental as the 2005 catastrophe. That said, three parishes are already under mandatory evacuation order: St. Charles, Jefferson and Plaquemines.
Both the mayor and Governor Bobby Jindal are urging anyone in Louisiana wishing to avoid Isaac to get out today. Do not hesitate. Lines are already miles long in some instances as folks seek to fill up their gas tanks, both in advance of the storm and an expected hike in fuel prices. The bulk of drilling in the Gulf has already been halted because of Isaac.
City Hall and City buildings are closed today and tomorrow. The mayor is urging all residents to stay abreast of changes in the storm, set to hit as a Category 1 hurricane or greater, by logging onto: http://ready.nola.gov. (Exclude the final period when accessing the URL).
Because of the uncertainty of the storm, Landrieu says, “out of the abundance of caution we are asking everybody to begin to prepare.”
While the Big Easy is certainly owed a break, Mother Nature has frequently reminded us that she doesn’t always play fair.
To access the storm’s path from an interactive map, please click here.
Gov. Jindal urged people to call 211 for up-to-date information including information on shelters.
To access the American Red Cross hurricane app, to stay abreast of the latest news and get and send critical alerts, please click here to download. Click here to download all relevant information about finding a shelter, getting the app and how to help if you are not in the vicinity but have loved ones/friends who are.
Following are links to American Red Cross locations here in Louisiana:
- Acadiana Area Chapter
- American Red Cross of Southwest Louisiana
- Central Louisiana Chapter
- Fort Polk
- Louisiana Capital Area Chapter
- Northeast Louisiana Chapter
- Northwest Louisiana Chapter
- Saint Bernard Parish Chapter
- Southeast Louisiana Chapter
* – An earlier version of this story misstated that the eye had formed.