Bill Capo / Eyewitness News
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LAFOURCHE, La. -- Lafourche Parish leaders spent the day in the Emergency Operations Center watching Tropical Storm Karen swirl across the Gulf of Mexico.

They weren't happy to see Karen creeping westward, so they declared a state of emergency parishwide and ordered mandatory evacuation for the low lying areas along Hwy. 1 south of the locks in Golden Meadow.

'The area between Giolden Meadow and Leeville, which is below sea level, and certainly the tide is rising, so we're concerned about access in and out, particularly in the event of an emergency,' said Lafourche Parish President Charlotte Randolph.

The evacuation area includes not only the small town of Leeville, but also the huge offshore oil supply center at Port Fourchon. They want resident to know they could experience some of Karen's effects.

'Along the coastline particularly, some winds that could reach 60 miles an hour, and certainly some water, surge coming in as well as some rainfall, two to four inches,' described Randolph.

The Raceland Recreation Center opened as a shelter of last resort, and parish leaders want those who plan to stay there to bring bedding, bottled water, food, and snacks. Lafourche Parish Fielf Offices opened to distribute sand bags.

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