Jefferson Parish has their game plan ready for the hurricane season
It's hurricane season and that means it's time to prepare.
Jefferson Parish President John Young said he has been attending meetings with others in the parish, as well as other parish leaders, making sure everyone is on the same page for this hurricane season.
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"All of us, parish leaders, work well together, we communicate during these events, and there's a lot more communication at the local level, the state level, and the federal level," said Young. "We have a new emergency operations center since Katrina, where literally every agency local state and federal has a seat in the operations room, so there is real time communication," added Young.
Young says Jefferson Parish is a really a tale of two parishes.
"The areas within the hurricane protection system are much better protected than they were at the time of Katrina," noted Young.
"Obviously we have areas outside the levee protection system: Lafitte, Barataria, Crown Point and of course Grand Isle," Young said. "The interim solution is elevation, which we've dedicated a lot of money to elevate homes in those low lying areas."
But Young stresses, "I want to remind everybody, as well as prepared as we are and as better protected as we are, it's still a risk reduction system not a risk elimination system. So when we make a call depending upon wherever the storm is coming from, the speed at which it's traveling and the strength of it, and we make the call asking people to evacuate, we ask them to heed that advice."
Young said that the pumps are ready to go, and he said pump operators will never be evacuated outside of Jefferson parish again: "We have safe rooms, we have remote control capabilities, our pumping stations have been fortified and we test those pumps every month. "
Should the need to evacuate happen, Young said contraflow will happen if needed heading east, west and north.
"Contraflow will still go using both lanes and then you'll cross over at a certain point," added Young.
For reentry to Jefferson Parish after a storm, placards may be applied for at www.jumpstartjefferson.com. Young says it's a tiered system and the placards are good for two years. He recommends checking you placard if you already have one. It may be good for another year.
Young wants to assure everyone Jefferson Parish has their game plan in place.
"Now is the time for everyone to look for their personal game plan, put it together, get your ducks in a row in terms of the supplies you may need and think about where you would go if there is a call for an evacuation," noted Young.