Mayor Mitchell Landrieu sat down with Katie Moore to discuss evacuation and the option of shelters of last resort as Tropical Storm Isaac approaches.
Mayor Landrieu: The thing that troubles me the most about this storm is that it’s so close to us. In the event that it moves to a much, much stronger storm--which we don’t have any indication it’s going to but we want to prepare for the worst—then it would put us in some trouble. Until then ,we want to watch it very ,very closely and tell people to be prepared. Be prepared to shelter in place because that’s what it looks like it’s going to be now. But of course these things can change overnight. If you’re able to leave, if you feel uncomfortable, if you’ve been through one of these before, now would be a great time to go.
Moore: Don’t we normally start looking at evacuations at 36 hours? Isn’t it too late?
Mayor Landrieu: Well that’s a good question. I don’t think it’s too late at this point but I think sometime tomorrow during the middle of the day, it will get to be where it is too late. And that’s one of the most dangerous things about this storm. Because it’s been so unpredictable, because it’s taken such a long time to form, because it’s so close to us, that could pose a problem in the event something that we don’t’expect happens in the middle of the night. That’s why, again, the governor and I both want to get ahead of this, let people know.
Moore: You said no shelters of last resort. Could that happen if we are at a point that’s it too late?
Mayor Landrieu: Our position is that we are not going to have shelters of last resort. People cannot rely on the city sheltering people in the event of a major storm. And we will take whatever precautions we need to protect people but unfortunately people hear that the wrong way and they don’t make provisions for their families and for themselves and we get into the situation that we had during Katrina and Rita and we do not want to do that again.
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