Preparing for Isaac | Parish bracing for indecisive Tropical Storm

Published 10:26 pm Tuesday, August 28, 2012

After Washington Parish officials met with first responders, hospitals and others who might be called upon in the event of a Tropical Storm Isaac-inspired emergency Monday, Director of Emergency Preparedness Tommy Thiebaud said he believed everybody was well prepared.

Thiebaud has been in regular contact with the National Weather Service.

By mid afternoon, the storm was still confounding forecasters about both its path and ultimate strength. The maximum sustained winds were 65 miles per hour, and Isaac was moving to the northwest toward the Louisiana coast at 14 miles per hour.

“At this point we expect, beginning at 6 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), to begin feeling tropical storm force winds or gusts that will probably last about 48 hours,” Thiebaud said. “According to the current forecast we’re not going to get anything above tropical storm force winds in our parish. Of course, that’s with the current track and speed. Anything can change.”

He added that people should be aware that the parish is also expected to get between eight and 12 inches of rain during the storm. and that there was a threat of tornadoes on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We will continue to watch,” Thiebaud said. “The models are moving all over the place. This is one storm that we won’t really know about until it comes on shore. People need to watch closely.”

He said the plan was to open a couple of emergency shelters on Tuesday.

“The Red Cross is preparing one in Bogalusa and one in Franklinton,” Thiebaud said. “We will announce where they are when they are ready.”