Lake Charles preparing for possible storm impacts

Updated: Aug. 24, 2020 at 7:27 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With the uncertainty that both tropical systems Marco and Laura pose, preps are taking place throughout Southwest Louisiana.

Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter encourages everyone to be ready for possible flooding rain. 7News spoke to the mayor about his biggest concerns for the city.

“For this storm we are issuing just a voluntary evacuation,” said Mayor Hunter.

Flooded streets, downed power lines and nowhere to go given the pandemic are part of Mayor Nic Hunters concerns when it comes to the latest track of Tropical Storm Laura.

“Perhaps not the immediate danger of the event itself. My concern is the aftermath and the real possibility that we could have an extended amount of time without power. Perhaps roads blocked and being without waste water services.”

Hunter says over the next 24 hours, city crews will and have been working to clean out the drains in some of the city’s low lying areas.

“There’s been millions of dollars spent over the last 2 to 3 years of making improvements to our drainage system. While we’re being proactive today and cleaning drains and basins there is the possibility of flooding in Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana.”

We asked the Mayor what were some of the general flood areas that crews are focusing on and he says its an all-round issue.

”I’d rather not be specific because it’s really the entire city of Lake Charles.”

Ahead of the storms, Hunter said his confidence remains high in the city’s infrastructure and it’s ability to handle a category 3 or 4 storm. However, he remains skeptical on the drainage systems ability to handle anything over a category 2.

Although it’s not quite clear what effects we’ll see from Tropical Storm Laura, Mayor Hunter says if the storm does cause extensive damage, the city does have a pre-approved contract with a 3rd party company to come in and help with clean-up, should that be needed, given the current pandemic.

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