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Wednesday, June 26, 2019

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National Weather Service and GOHSEP brief parish officials as hurricane season gets into full swing

National Weather Service and GOHSEP brief parish officials as hurricane season gets into full swing

Mathews, LA – Ken Graham, meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service’s (NWS) New Orleans office, along with Pam Roussel from the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness (GOPSEP), briefed parish officials Wednesday morning on the 2016 Atlantic basin hurricane season that began June 1.

The briefing centered on how decision makers would best use the forecasts and other products issued by the NWS and GOHSEP should a tropical system approach the Louisiana coast.

Also joining the discussion were Lafourche Parish Councilman Michael Gros and Councilwoman Luci Sposito.

Grahman stressed that forecasting a storm is a fluid situation since weather is dynamic and always changing. He stressed not to rely on the lines of a forecast track and instead to look at the cone of possibility as to where a storm may go.

He also noted that a storm picking up speed will cut down evacuation times by several hours.

“The key is to stay tuned to official forecasts and stay vigilant. Things can change rapidly and when emergency managers call for evacuation, people should heed those calls and go,” he said.

Roussel serves as a regional coordinator for GOHSEP. She will serve as a primary contact with state government and the governor’s office in times of tropical weather or other natural or emergency situations.

Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle noted the importance of the briefing by expressing thanks to Graham and Roussel.

“These are some of the most important people we turn to in times of emergency. The parish has a good working relationship with them and in conjunction with our Director of Homeland Security Josh Champagne and the other members of the parish emergency operations team, we are prepared for the hurricane season,” stated Cantrelle.