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Pandemic is throwing a wrench in hurricane preps

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Posted at 11:20 AM, May 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-03 12:20:20-04

The coronavirus pandemic has thrown a daunting set of new challenges at Louisiana and New Orleans area emergency planners gearing up for what is expected to be a busy hurricane season, our media partners at The Advocate/Times Picayune report.

The newspapers report that a combination of less wind shear that can disrupt the creation of the thunderstorms that evolve into storms and warmer than average sea surface temperatures that act as heat sources that increase storm intensity are expected to combine in the storm-creation zone of the Atlantic Ocean, resulting in an above-average number of named tropical storms and hurricanes, according to several early seasonal forecasts.

But it's the chance of even one major hurricane making landfall amid an ongoing pandemic that has planners worried -- especially in and around New Orleans, where thousands of residents rely on public transportation to reach shelters. COVID-19's dangerously contagious nature will change the way the government gets people to those shelters, and how they are designed and used, the newspapers report.

To read the story about how things will be changed, click here.

Do you have a plan for hurricane season? Gov. John Bel Edwards and other state officials encourage all residents to plan early, especially given what's going on with COVID-19. To get started with a plan for your family, click here.