In St. Tammany Parish, Dexter Accardo says crews are prepared for high winds, power outages, and possible tornadoes.

"Well it's hard to prepare for winds, because it doesn't discriminate," said Accardo. "You don't know where it's gonna blow, what tree's gonna blowdown. So we've activated and we have ready to roll out, is our public works teams. With the chains saws and the front end loaders and things of that nature."

St. Tammany Parish is encouraging everyone to have a charged cell phone, safe shelter, a blanket, and food and water on hand in the event of a tornado.

Even if tornadoes don't touch down, the parish is hoping residents will prepare their property for high winds.

"Just like a hurricane, get that lawn furniture, those lightweight things in your yard that could potentially blowdown. Be cognizant of any bad trees in your yard that may be potentially rotten or something," Accardo said.

South of the lake, where there is a lesser threat of tornadoes, officials are focusing on drainage.

The City of New Orleans and Jefferson Parish both tweeted photos of public works crews cleaning debris out of catch basins.

"We've had teams throughout the parish today, cleaning out what we believe are our trouble spots," said Cynthia Lee Sheng, who was inaugurated as Jefferson Parish President earlier this week.

This is the first severe weather event of her term, and President Sheng says the pumps are prepared for rain. She also hopes residents will do their part to keep their neighbors safe.

Sheng said, "We're expecting it to pass through quickly, so we're asking everyone to heed the warnings and to stay inside, and to not do your regular errands and things like that. And again, secure your home, make sure anything loose outside is brought in."

A big concern for Saturday morning is power outages. Entergy tells WWL-TV it has a storm team of 1,700 workers in position throughout the area to begin restoring power when the system passes.

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