Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

BELLE CHASSE, La. - Plaquemines Parish issued a mandatory evacuation on Friday for parts of the parish and set up a shelter to give those residents a safe place to go.

Shortly after the doors opened at 6 p.m. Friday, people started arriving. Many families were from the east bank who said they came to the shelter because they did not want to take any chances.

Parish officials said they weren't sure how many people will take shelter, but they say they are well prepared.

The few residents who have returned to Braithwaite since Hurricane Isaac spent the day hauling away boats, trailers and other valuables.

'Last time we didn't think Isaac was going to be too bad, and last time people that lived down here did very little preparation,' said Braithwaite resident Donald Duplantier. 'This time I think people don't want to lose their stuff.'

Just 24 hours after Plaquemines Parish declared a state of emergency, parish officials ordered a mandatory evacuation for parts of the west bank that have no levee protection, as well as for residents on the eastbank of the parish.

While some residents were packing up to leave, Donald Duplantier was settling in.

'I'm prepared. I have a generator, so as soon as I lose power I will be starting the generator and I'll be watching TV,' said Duplantier.

Duplantier's family, however, plans to stay with relatives. But for some, the best option is to stick out the storm at the Belle Chasse Auditorium, where parish officials have setup a temporary shelter.

'We get a lot of water in the area, and I didn't want to take the chance of staying down there and being flood out so I came up here to be safe,' said Pointe a La Hache resident Yasmeen Sanders.

Although the shelter only has 59 beds, parish officials say they do have an overflow room at Belle Chasse High School, which has 100 additional beds.

Parish officials also want to remind residents who may be coming out to the shelter to bring their personal belongs and their own food.

If residents need help evacuating, they should call the Plaquemines Parish Emergency Operations Center at 504-297-5670.

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