Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Gordon enters the Gulf Coast.
Gov. Edwards announced during a news conference on Monday evening that 200 troops from the National Guard will be utilized within southeastern Louisiana in anticipation of strong winds and heavy rains to be brought by the approaching storm.
New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell says the city has the “pumps and the power” needed to protect the city’s residents from the storm, but she also urged people to stock up on supplies.
Authorities have already issued a voluntary evacuation order for residents outside the levee protection system. This includes those in the Venetian Isles, Lake Saint Catherine and Irish Bayou.
New Orleans director of emergency preparedness Collin Arnold says Gordon has the potential to be a “low-level hurricane” with winds of up to 70 mph.
In a press release, the Flood Protection Authority-East (FPA) stated it has closed 21 floodgates on the Lake Borgne Surge Barrier near New Orleans.
While Gordon’s predicted route has shifted slightly to the east as of writing, residents of southeastern Louisiana are still urged to prepare should the storm change direction and head west.
It’s expected that Tropical Storm Gordon could bring 4 to 6 inches of rain and cause storm surges of up to 5 feet.
Aside from Louisiana, hurricane warnings have also been issued in portions of the central U.S. Gulf Coast. A hurricane warning is in effect from the mouth of the Pearl River in Mississippi to the border between Alabama and Florida.
The Atlantic Basin, which includes the Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico is currently within hurricane season, which lasts from June 1 until November 30.
According to the National Hurricane Center of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NHC-NOAA), the peak season is from mid-August to late October, but deadly hurricanes can occur anytime within the danger period.
With storms and hurricanes getting stronger within the last 5 years, stocking up on much-needed supplies like food, water and basic medicine is always a good idea, especially if you’re in a hurricane-prone area.
However, you should also be quick to get on the move as soon as possible when evacuation orders are sent out by the authorities.
Whether you’re hunkering down or bugging out, make sure you’re fully prepared and ready for the most likely scenarios.