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Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
Email: mhernandez@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mhernandezwwl

NEW ORLEANS -- Now that some models have Tropical Storm Isaac moving West and potentially impacting the New Orleans metro as a hurricane, officials are getting ready. They're closely monitoring the storm and waiting to see where it makes landfall.

'We're talking with the weather service, making sure we're up to date with what's going on and then just looking at our plans,' said Lt. Col. Jerry Sneed, deputy mayor of public safety in New Orleans.

Sneed said he hopes Isaac prompts residents to do what they should do every year, making sure they have an evacuation plan in place, just in case.

'I have no concern with our system or our plan. My biggest concern is complacency. We haven't had a storm in quite some time. People are already finding reasons not to listen to us,' said Sneed.

Sneed said the hurricane protection system that covers the entire city of New Orleans is now complete. The West Bank Closure project in Harvey, he said, is the latest project to be finished.

'We're better prepared than we have been in many, many years,' said Sneed. 'Everything's in place like it should be for a category 3 or higher storm, so we're in good shape.'

Jefferson Parish officials are also keeping a close eye on the storm. The Causeway Bridge project is almost finished, and Parish President John Young will mobilize equipment and manpower to handle gaps in the system if needed.

'We've been monitoring the storm for a few days now. We had a meeting today with all my directors. We have a rule that once we hit the red zone of hurricane season August 15, no one takes vacation, so we're ready to go,' said Young.

Tangipahoa Parish President Gordon Burgess is already telling his crews to sharpen their chainsaws and keep fuel in their tanks. He plans to stay in close contact with the National Weather Service and emergency response teams through the weekend.

'The way I see it, it doesn't look good for Louisiana, and I'm not a weather person, but we need to be prepared for a category 1 or 2 storm in the Gulf of Mexico,' said Burgess. 'We don't want to alarm anyone, but folks, there's a dangerous storm out there and we need to be aware of what could happen.'

Officials are reminding people to have an evacuation plan in place just in case. They are also asking people to stock up on supplies like water, flashlights, and canned goods.

If you need assistance in the event of an evacuation, you can register in Orleans Parish simply by calling 311.

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