KSYL Local News

News For Tuesday 08/28/12


NEWS FOR TUESDAY 082812
BY DAVE GRAICHEN

FORECASTERS SAY ISAAC IS ON THE VERGE OF BECOMING A HURRICANE AS IT BEARS DOWN ON THE NORTHERN GULF COAST. THE U.S. NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER SAID AT 5 A.M. EDT ON TUESDAY THAT ISAAC WAS STILL A TROPICAL STORM BUT WAS LIKELY TO BECOME A HURRICANE DURING THE DAY AS IT GAINED STRENGTH OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO.
ISAAC IS EXPECTED TO MAKE LANDFALL OVER SOUTHEASTERN LOUISIANA, POSSIBLY THE NEW ORLEANS AREA, EITHER LATE TONIGHT OR EARLY WEDNESDAY. THE CENTER OF THE STORM WAS LOCATED ABOUT 125 MILES SOUTH-SOUTHEAST OF THE MOUTH OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER. IT HAS TOP SUSTAINED WINDS OF 70 MPH AND IS MOVING TO THE NORTHWEST AT 12 MPH.

ISAAC IS STILL ON A FORECAST TRACK TO HIT LOUISIANA'S COAST SOME TIME LATER TODAY, PROBABLY AS A CATEGORY TWO HURRICANE. STATE CLIMATOLOGIST BARRY KEIM SAYS ISAAC'S FORECAST PATH IS A LONG A SLOW TRIP ACROSS THE STATE. KEIM SAYS COASTAL STORM SURGES FROM ISAAC COULD BE UP TO 15 FEET, BUT AREAS INLAND COULD SEE LONG AND STEADY PERIODS OF HEAVY RAIN, PRODUCING FLASH FLOODING.

CLECO IS SENDING A MESSAGE TO ITS 281,000 CUSTOMERS THAT THEY ARE PREPARED FOR HURRICANE ISAAC'S LANDFALL. SPOKESPERSON ROBBYN COOPER SAYS PLANS ARE FINALIZED. COOPER SAYS, TO BE ON THE SAFE SIDE, UNPLUG SENSITIVE ELECTRIC APPLIANCES LIKE COMPUTERS AND TELEVISIONS TO PROTECT THEM IN THE EVENT OF AN UNPREDICTABLE VOLTAGE FLUCTUATION. SHE SAYS IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE STORM BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN PICKING UP DEBRIS AND NEVER TOUCH A DOWNED POWERLINE. IF YOU SEE A DOWNED LINE, CALL CLECO AT 1-800-622-6537. THAT PHONE NUMBER IS ON THE CENLA BROADCASTING WEBSITE.

AS ISAAC KNOCKS OUT POWER ACROSS THE STATE, MANY RESIDENT WILL TURN TO PORTABLE GENERATORS TO RUN THEIR HOMES. STATE FIRE MARSHAL BUTCH BROWNING SAYS THESE GENERATORS CAN BE LIFE SAVERS, BUT THEY CAN ALSO BE DEADLY. BROWNING SAYS BE SURE TO RUN THE UNITS OUTSIDE WHERE THERE IS PLENTY OF VENTILATION. ALSO, BE SURE THE UNIT IS OFF AND TOTALLY COOLED DOWN BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT TO REFILL THE FUEL TANK.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA HAS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA AS THAT STATE PREPARES FOR TROPICAL STORM ISAAC. THE WHITE HOUSE SAID OBAMA INFORMED LOUISIANA GOV. BOBBY JINDAL OF THE EMERGENCY DECLARATION IN A PHONE CALL MONDAY. THE DECLARATION MAKES FEDERAL FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR EMERGENCY ACTIVITIES RELATED TO THE STORM. OBAMA ALSO SPOKE WITH ALABAMA GOV. ROBERT BENTLEY, MISSISSIPPI GOV. PHIL BRYANT AND NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MITCH. OBAMA HAS ASKED THE FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY TO COORDINATE DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS WITH STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS ALONG THE GULF COAST.

NEW ORLEANS RESIDENTS SCRAMBLED MONDAY TO STOCKPILE FOOD, FUEL AND OTHER SUPPLIES AS THEY PREPARED TO RIDE OUT A STORM THAT WAS DUE TO ARRIVE ON THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY OF HURRICANE KATRINA. NEW ORLEANS MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU SAID THE CITY IS READY TO FACE ISAAC. HE URGED ABOUT 900 RESIDENTS WHO LIVE OUTSIDE LEVEE PROTECTION IN EASTERN NEW ORLEANS TO EVACUATE, BUT HE RULED OUT A MANDATORY EVACUATION OF THE CITY INSIDE THE LEVEE SYSTEM.

AS OF YESTERDAY AFTERNOON YOU COULDN’T FLY OUT OF THE BIG EASY. SEVERAL AIRLINES CANCELLED ALL OF THEIR NEW ORLEANS FLIGHTS IN ANTICIPATION OF HURRICANE WINDS AND RAIN FROM ISAAC. AMERICAN AIRLINES, SOUTHWEST AND UNITED ARE ALL SUSPENDING OPERATIONS IN THE CITY MONDAY. THE MOVE COMES AFTER LARGE CANCELLATIONS IN SOUTHERN FLORIDA SUNDAY DUE TO TROPICAL STORM ISAAC.

THE CITY OF PINEVILLE WILL MAKE SANDBAGS AVAILABLE TO ITS CITIZENS BEGINNING AT 8:00AM, TUESDAY, AUGUST 28TH. SANDBAGS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE PUBLIC WORKS CITY BARN, LOCATED AT 405 SANDERS STREET. SIMPLY FOLLOW THE ASSEMBLE LINE NEAR THE CITY GAS PUMPS, ALONG WITH SHOWING YOUR PROOF OF RESIDENCY, AND THE SANDBAGS WILL BE LOADED INTO YOUR VEHICLE.

RAPIDES PARISH SUPT. OF SCHOOLS DR. GARY JONES TENDERED HIS RESIGNATION MONDAY. JONES SAYS HE FELT LIKE IT WAS TIME FOR THE BOARD TO GET ABOUT THE BUSINESS OF UNIFYING AND DOING WHAT’S IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE KIDS. JONES’ CONTRACT WAS SET TO EXPIRE IN DECEMBER AFTER THE SCHOOL BOARD’S 5-4 VOTE TO NOT EXTEND JONES’ CONTRACT IN MAY. JONES SAID HE’D BEEN LOOKING FOR ANOTHER JOB . IN EDUCATION HERE IN CENLA. WORD IS HE HAS FOUND ONE. HOWEVER, THE SUPERINTENDENT SAYS HE CAN NOT DISCLOSE WHERE, UNTIL CONTRACT DETAILS HAVE BEEN WORKED OUT. HE DOES SAY THOUGH, HE PLANS TO START HIS NEW JOB AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. SUPT. JONES LAST DAY WILL BE THIS FRIDAY.

STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICES ACROSS 22 PARISHES ARE SHUT DOWN TODAY AND TOMORROW BECAUSE OF ISAAC. COMMISSIONER OF ADMINISTRATION PAUL RAINWATER ON MONDAY ANNOUNCED THE CLOSURES, WHICH COVER PARISHES IN THE TROPICAL STORM WARNING, HURRICANE WATCH AND HURRICANE WARNING AREAS. AS OF LAST CHECK, NONE WERE HERE IN CENLA.

ASCENSION PARISH HAS BEEN CHOSEN AS THE SITE FOR AN AVALON RARE METALS INC. PLANT THAT WILL REFINE ELEMENTS USED IN TELEVISIONS AND HYBRID VEHICLES, IF THE COMPANY DECIDES TO BUILD THE $300 MILLION FACILITY. THE LOUISIANA DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ANNOUNCED MONDAY THAT AVALON CHOSE THE GEISMAR SITE FOR ITS POSSIBLE REFINERY, WITH A FINAL DECISION PLANNED FOR 2013. IF BUILT, LED SAYS THE PLAN WOULD CREATE 175 NEW JOBS. THE PLANT WOULD REFINE 10 RARE EARTH ELEMENTS USED IN ITEMS LIKE FLAT-SCREEN TVS AND THE HIGH-STRENGTH MAGNETS ESSENTIAL TO HYBRID AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES. AVALON IS DOING A FEASIBILITY STUDY ON THE PLANT, SET TO BE COMPLETE IN MID-2013.




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