Lafourche Parish has declared a state of emergency in advance of Tropical Storm Karen, and has issued a mandatory evacuation order for areas of the parish south of the Leon Theriot Floodgates in Golden Meadow.
The mandatory evacuation order includes Port Fourchon, and begins at 2 p.m.
The parish is bracing for the arrival of Karen, which could bring tropical storm-force winds between 25 to 60 mph, and dump up to 3 to 4 inches of rain, over the next 48 hours.
Lafourche Parish will open the Raceland Recreation Center (241 Recreation Drive) at 5 p.m. today as a refuge of last resort for residents in the evacuation area, and for those living in vulnerable buildings or in areas subject to flooding. Residents planning to evacuate to the shelter are advised to bring provisions with them, such as bedding, toiletries, bottled water and read-to-eat foods, as well as important documents and medications.
The Lafourche Parish Sheriff's Office says it will be monitoring road conditions for traffic and flooding, and the state Department of Transportation and Development has indicated that the tolls on the Leeville Overpass will be suspended later today.