GRAND ISLE, La. -- Grand Isle is pretty much a ghost town Friday night, except for a handful of year-round residents and business owners who plan on riding out the storm.
Much of the barrier island is quiet after officials issued a mandatory evacuation.
"Where we're standing right here, all these docks, it was all gone after Katrina. All these buildings were all messed up pretty bad,” said Butch Gaspard of Sand Dollar Marina.
Katrina is a lesson Gaspard doesn’t want to repeat. That’s why for much of the day the Grand Isle business owner hauled equipment like tractors and golf carts off the island.
Anything inside the Sand Dollar Marine that could get damaged by Tropical Storm Karen is now raised 24 inches off the ground.
But Gaspard is staying put.
"We have a lot of boats that need fuel so that they can evacuate, so we stay open as long as we possibly can, and we’ll be open tomorrow too for the rest of the boat that need to get out of here,” he said.
Not everyone is sticking around. A mandatory evacuation sent a steady stream of drivers towing campers and boats northward, concerned about what Karen might do to their possessions.
Homes and businesses on the island are also shuttered as a precaution.
"We have elderly that are sick. We have people that need to come in and get their motor homes and boats and trailers and what have you, and there are some people who get worried, especially if they have young people, they want to get out,” said Grand Isle Councilwoman Leoda Bladsacker.
Officials say 10 pump stations are standing ready ahead of Karen’s arrival.