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Morgan City expecting storm surge, wind from Hurricane Laura

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MORGAN CITY - As Hurricane Laura approaches coastal Louisiana, Morgan City officials are preparing for up to eight feet of storm surge. While some residents are getting ready to evacuate, others are opting to stay put.

"Now that we're starting to see the forecast shifting west we take a sigh of relief, but we still have to be careful," Mayor Frank Grizzaffi said.

Officials in Morgan City believe they may have been spared from the worst case scenario, however, Mayor Grizzaffi still has concerns about tropical force winds and storm surge.

In preparation, half a dozen flood gates have already been closed with a handful more likely to close ahead of Laura's arrival.

Fortunately, the Atchafalaya River is low this hurricane season, which was not the case when Hurricane Barry made landfall in July of 2019. In preparation for storm surge, city officials are calling this a saving grace.

"This year we're at some of the lowest levels we've seen in four or five years," Michael Brocato of the St. Mary Levee District said. "We're at about 3-feet. It definitely makes it a lot easier."

However, even with the river being low, some residents are still expecting Hurricane Laura to bring high water and heavy winds.

"I'm in between leaving and going, Sheila Mouton, a lifelong Morgan City resident, said. "I'd rather go because I'm in a trailer. I'm kind of scared, really. I'm nerved-up about it.

Many businesses have elected to close before the storm arrives, but Mayor Grizzaffi is optimistic that things will calm down by the weekend as he doesn't expect more rain than the pump system can handle.



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