Saturday, August 26

Local government offices watch Ernesto

Tropical Storm Ernesto, which formed Friday over the Caribbean, could enter the Gulf of Mexico as a hurricane by mid-week.
The storm, on track to affect Jamaica by Sunday, has the eye of emergency officials in Southwest Louisiana.

‘‘There are many variables affecting the intensity and track that will develop and become more refined with time,’’ said Steve Rinard with the National Weather Service in Lake Charles. ‘‘While it is too early to overreact, the threat is present and should be ingested into your planning. Continue to monitor Ernesto through the weekend.’’

Norman Bourdeau of the Calcasieu Parish Office of Emergency Preparedness said the office will hold a briefing Sunday night to discuss the latest on the storm.

“If it becomes a hurricane by Sunday, we are going to meet. We are already making some arrangements here and making sure everything is ready to go,” he said.

“We are being watchful and taking care of the little things right now.”

Should Ernesto develop into a hurricane, it would be the first of the 2006 Atlantic season, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

Hector San Miguel
City Editor

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