Karen Swensen / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- As Tropical Storm Karen churns in the Gulf of Mexico, she's like a house guest we've never met. Will she knock on our door or blow right on by?

'Tropical Storm Karen will have some impact on the city of New Orleans,' said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The question is, what kind? No one is taking chances.

New Orleans' pumping stations are manned, the Army Corps of Engineers has closed some flood control structures and the emergency operations center is activated.

They also hope you'll clean your catch basins.

In Jefferson Parish, similar precautions and requests have been made.

'We're prepared,' said Jefferson Parish President John young. 'There's no reason to panic. There's no reason to be overly concerned.'

Meanwhile, across the lake crews are preparing Hesco baskets in case they're needed along the new levee crossing Hwy. 11 to prevent water from backing up in the bayous.

Sandbags will also be available for residents.

'We're getting sand in our sandbag locations and we'll open them up at 6 a.m. in the morning so the public can get sand,' said Slidell mayor Freddy Drennan.

If you live in Terrebonne parish, leaders say they're taking precautions, and depending where you live, you might help by leaving.

'On Saturday, we're going to be actually doing a voluntary evacuation on the lower parts of the parish,' said Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet.

As Karen gets closer to Louisiana, the metro area is ready if she swings through, but everyone hopes she's the kind of guest that doesn't stay long and doesn't leave a mess.

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