Laura and Marco may hit Louisiana early next week
Avoyelles Emergency Preparedness Director Joey Frank said two tropical systems in the Gulf of Mexico appear to be heading almost hand-in-hand toward Louisiana. He said he is in close contact with state storm watchers and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security to monitor the situation for any probable negative impact on the parish
At this time Laura and Marco are still tropical storms, but both are expected to be hurricanes when the two "lovebirds" could arrive for a late summer honeymoon somewhere in east Louisiana early next week. At this point, though, Laura could land somewhere along the "Casino Coast" or in the Florida Panhandle early next week. Marco might still take a trip to Texas instead of moving to meet Laura in the eastern Gulf.
There has never been two hurricanes in the Gulf at the same time, although it has been shared by two named tropical storms in 1933 and one named storm and an unnamed tropical system in 1959.
The arrival of this hurricane season's "L" and "M" storms mark the earliest on record. Laura dethrones Hurricane Luis, who formed on Aug. 29, 1995. Marco pushes ahead of Hurricane Maria, formed on Sept. 2, 2005, as the nation's earliest "M" storm.
If the two storms stay on track and don't slow down, they could also break a record for having seven tropical storm systems hit the U.S. before the end of August. The season is on track to live up to projections of above-normal activity, with the likelihood that the 21 pre-selected names will be used and late-season storms will be named using the Greek alphabet. Projections call for 25 named storms this hurricane season.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOHSEP) is urging people in potential danger from the storms to finalize their "emergency game plan," even if the storms change course over the weekend and pose no threat.
The National Weather Service said Friday that it has "average confidence in the potential for heavy rainfall across the area next week. We have lower confidence in the potential for wind and tidal impacts and determining where the heaviest rain might fall. Please continue to monitor the latest official forecast for updates as the expected impacts could change."
GOHSEP Director Jim Waskom said that while the "dual threat is not common, steps to finalize your emergency plans remain the same. It is too soon to say exactly what we can expect in terms of impact to Louisiana. It is extremely important for everyone to monitor the National Hurricane Center, your local National Weather Service office, your local elected officials and the media for updates. "
Find more tips on weather and preparedness on GOHSEP’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. Listen to conversations on all aspects of emergency management by downloading GOHSEP’s The Get A Game Plan Podcast. You can receive emergency alerts on most smartphones and tablets by downloading the new Alert FM App. It is free for basic service. The Get A Game Plan App is another resource available to help you and your family prepare for any type of emergency. You can download the Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide and find other information at www.getagameplan.org.