Parish officials, store managers prepare for tropical weather as Isaac approaches

Calcasieu OEP Briefing

CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) - The governor has declared a state of emergency, and so have Calcasieu Parish officials, but just as a precaution.

"Anytime there's a tropical system in the gulf, we need to be prepared for those conditions," said Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Director Dick Gremillion.

Even though tropical storm Isaac may be staying to the east, officials in Calcasieu Parish aren't taking the situation lightly.

"We'd like for people to take this seriously," said Gremillion. "We always plan for the worst case scenario."

At two separate briefings on Monday, parish officials gathered for a weather briefing from the National Weather Service about developments in the tropical system.

"We don't want to scare anyone, but a tropical system in the gulf is dangerous for anyone living on the gulf coast," said Gremillion. "That's just where we live. We have to be prepared for that during this time of year."

Residents are listening to instructions. Several local stores saw a huge boost in business.

"Sales have been incredible," said Operations Assistant Manager Patrick Healy. "We've had people coming in looking all kinds of supplies. Generators, gas cans, water. Anything we can do to help them out with their supplies."

Stores like Lowe's, Home Depot, and Stine all ran out of generators. And the next hot item in line? Gas cans.

Stine expected a shipment of generators later Monday, and several other stores like Genset in Carlyss say they still have generators on hand. Officials with Entergy say they've asked over 4,000 additional workers to come in and help. Gremillion adds that even if it does not hit southwest Louisiana directly, the aftermath may impact the area.

"Even after it comes ashore, we still have the possibility of the tropical storm force winds as well as heavy rainfall," said Gremillion.

The Calcasieu Parish OEP canceled their two briefings scheduled for Tuesday, but they will continue to monitor the situation.

Copyright 2012 KPLC. All rights reserved.