Calcasieu Emergency Officials hold briefing on Bonnie

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KPLC) - Calcasieu Emergency Officials know the drill and all gathered for a morning briefing which included all the various agencies, businesses, utilities and government leaders the public depend on when bad weather threatens the area. In this case there wasn't much to talk about since bonnie appears headed east of here. And emergency OPS Director Dick Gremillion says worry about the oil coming this way is less because the story is moving quickly. "The winds that would push any of this toward our area are probably not going to be in the area for very long where it would not have a chance of pushing any significant amount of oil this way."

It might seem confusing why officials take steps such as declaring an emergency, but gremillion explains it allows them to take care of various needs on a faster track than normal. Explains Gremillion, "We have to have that emergency declaration in place so that we can do things like curfews and ingress and egress, traffic control, contra flow, all of that stuff, an emergency declaration has to be in place before we can take those actions. It also has to be filed at the clerk of court's office. We wanted to get that filing done on Friday, the last business day of the week rather than have to call someone in over the weekend with the clerks office to file a declaration."

It also paves the way for them to get state or federal reimbursement for various costs. And while Bonnie may not be much to worry about, Gremillion says its a reminder to consider individual plans and provisions for a more serious threat. What would I have done had this come here.

Are all my plans in place because next week or two weeks from now or a month from now we could be facing a situation. As citizens here know all too well.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.