Some residents worried Irma could follow Katrina's path

When it comes to Irma's forecast, many in New Orleans are still anxious despite the weather models that show it turning before it reaches the Gulf.

NEW ORLEANS – Hurricane Katrina was 12 years ago and since then technology has improved, however that does not make residents confident that the storm won’t be a repeat of Katrina's path.

Dee Armand has already begun to prepare for Hurricane Irma at the Ace Hardware store in Metairie. She says she has already booked a place to stay with a friend in Central Mississippi for next week.

"They said even if they're not home I can go stay at their house,” Armand said.

Armand has been in the New Orleans area for 50 years and she remembers back in 2005 how Katrina was supposed to make a turn, but didn’t. That is why she is extra cautious.

"It could be like Katrina, you know, it's God's will,” Armand said.

Technology to predict weather patterns has greatly improved and changed in the past 12 years.

“Oh, I remember where they said a storm is or it's not coming, and you didn't know why, but now you know why. There's an upper level high or a lower level low," WWL Meteorologist Chris Franklin said.

With improved weather information and hurricane models, Franklin feels optimistic.

“My family is here, my friends are here so if this were coming at New Orleans my anxiety would be through the roof just like everyone else,” Franklin said.

He says forecasts today have a lot more data.

"To go back 12 years, it is a completely different forecast model,” Franklin said.

However, stores are still busy with residents making their storm preparations. Hardware salesman James Tobias said it is still hard to believe what you see on television about Irma.

“You know I'm not saying the meteorologist are lying or anything but I don't trust them,” Tobias said.

Armand says she is continuing to stock up and while packing up and leaving takes a lot, it will give her peace of mind.

“I'll be ready to leave town,” Armand said.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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