For the instant it is a category 1 hurricane but the central Gulf of Mexico as New Orleans evacuated some residents from areas outside its levee system. The greatest threat from this particular storm is not rain, but strong winds and storm surges which are projected to be six to nine feet (1.8 to 2.7 meters) high. The storm brushed by Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, home to beach resorts such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou areas of the city.
“We remain focused on vulnerabilities in Venetian Isles, Lake Catherine and Irish Bayou because these areas are outside of the levee system, and because one of the greatest threats to this storm is not necessarily interior rain, but storm surge. It is a serious concern to us,” Landrieu said Friday. A mandatory curfew will take effect Saturday at 6 p.m. and end Sunday morning. In preparation for overnight flooding, he said the city’s police department will put up barricades and close underpasses once the curfew is in effect. Gov. John Bel Edwards declared a state of emergency for all of Louisiana. With parts of Florida still reeling from Hurricane Irma, Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for 29 counties. He told residents to anticipate evacuation zones, warning that bridges will close once wind speeds get to 30-40 miles per hour and people won’t be able to evacuate.