BATON ROUGE, La. (WVLA/WGMB) — While Tropical Storm Marco arrives with a softer-than-feared punch, Louisiana’s governor warns against letting guards down.
Gov. John Bel Edwards suggested Monday that Louisianians should use the unexpected quiet to brace for Laura, which could reach the state as a Category 2 hurricane late Wednesday or early Thursday.
“I can tell you we’re only going to dodge a bullet so many times,” Edwards said from his public safety compound. “What we don’t want people to believe is that because the forecast changed for Marco — because it weakened — that that’s an indication of what’s going to happen to Laura.”
The Louisiana National Guard is also gearing up. Its 2,000 members have nearly 100 high-water vehicles, dozens of boats, aircraft and sandbags ready along the state’s coast.
Louisiana has no state-run shelters yet, though should officials deem them necessary, federal aid will help. President Donald Trump approved the governor’s emergency disaster declaration over the weekend.
“We sent that request to him Saturday, and it was approved Sunday,” Edwards said. “We are very appreciative of it.”
Psychology also factors into the state’s perception of these storms, 15 years to the week after Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. Chip Kline — who chairs the Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, which formed after Katrina — maintains the state is taking precautions against repeating history.
“That’s why we’ve got to make sure once this hurricane passes, we’re immediately doing post-storm assessments to see how our levees hold up,” he said. “I’m never going to sit here and say we are 100 percent ready or we are 100 percent protected, but I think we are more ready and better protected than we ever have been.”
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