BELLE CHASSE, La. -- At 6 p.m. Friday, the Belle Chasse auditorium will be opened for emergency shelter.
At about the same time, mandatory evacuations for the east bank of Plaquemines Parish and those outside the protection of a levee system will take effect all in preparation for this storm.
There was a burst of rain Friday in Myrtle Grove, perhaps a preview of the storm approaching from the Gulf of Mexico. Roy Mills is packing up and leaving his fishing camp because of Tropical Storm Karen.
"The water is probably going to come up to the slab, and if we lose electricity we won't be able to drive out anywhere after the water comes up,” Mills said.
The storm could move over lower Plaquemines Parish. It's enough to get shrimpers and fisherman in Empire to pull their boats out of the water.
"You don't want to lose your livelihood. You work too hard for it,” said fisherman John Phillips. “It's a lot of money involved."
For parish officials, their biggest area of concern is on the east bank, specifically the levee system which suffered heavy damage during Hurricane Isaac. This time around, they're hopeful the levees won't be overtopped.
"We're not confident, but we're hopeful,” said Guy Lagast, of the Plaquemines Parish Dept. Of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. “If we were confident we wouldn't be asking for the evacuations. It's too close to call, and we don't want to make the judgment on the wrong side."
Conditions are expected to worsen later tonight, but most residents are staying put. Bain Richard feels confident about riding it out in his mobile home, but it may be a bumpy ride.
"We got deal with a lot of wind, don't get me wrong, we'll probably be rocking like a boat, but we're just going to hang it out,” Richard said.
As a reminder, starting at 6 p.m., the east bank of Plaquemines is under a mandatory evacuation order. On the west bank, those areas outside a levee system are also under the same order. If residents need help they're encouraged to call the emergency operations center at 504-297-5679.