Families evacuate to Baton Rouge ahead of Hurricane Laura

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BATON ROUGE, La. (LOCAL 33/FOX 44) – Families who live in the path of Hurricane Laura evacuated to Baton Rouge as City-Parish leaders are on high alert ahead of the storm’s landfall.

Hurricane Laura is hours from making landfall near Lake Charles. That’s why Wesley Wiltz and his family came to Baton Rouge.

“Now they say this one here got a better punch than Rita. Oh yeah. So we had to go,” said Wiltz.

East Baton Rouge City-Parish leaders say there are at least 300 hotel rooms available for those getting away from the storm. Teams at the Mayor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness are monitoring Laura. Search and rescue teams are on standby and could go out Thursday to help.

East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broom said, “There is so much unpredictability around a weather event like this.”

Because of that, power crews are staged at the Sam’s Club on Siegen Lane to respond to power outages. The city is working ahead of possible street flooding from Laura.

Fred Raiford, Director of Transportation and Drainage for East Baton Rouge Parish said, “Most of the areas that we have deemed hazardous to motor vehicles or people in low lying areas, most of those have already been barricaded or set up or prestaged for barricades.”

With all eyes on Laura, Wiltz hopes more people follow his lead.

“I hope they got out of there man. I was thinking about staying and going to work, but go to work where? It might be nothing left. It’s coming,” said Wiltz.

Many people may also feel anxiety ahead of the storm, if you want to talk to support counselors, call 211.

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