“We believe that there will be hurricane force winds and storm surge in southwest Louisiana in the area of our state that is least prepared to take it,” Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday, urging residents to create a game plan for the storm.
Several communities, including Cameron Parish and Calcasieu Parish — where Lake Charles is located — have mandatory evacuation orders in place.
A hurricane warning is in effect for High Island, Texas, to Morgan City, Louisiana, and storm surge warnings are in effect for parts of Texas to Mississippi, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Up to 10 inches of rain is expected through Saturday for parts of south and central Louisiana, with some areas forecast to see as much as 15 inches of water, Shackelford said.
‘I’m packing up to leave again’
In a last call to get residents evacuated, Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said Thursday afternoon city employees would move “heaven and earth” to help evacuate anyone who wanted to leave the city ahead of the storm.
“I’m packing up to leave again,” Boullion told the affiliate. “I’m just hoping that I have something to come back to.”
A tropical storm warning was in effect in parts of Texas and Louisiana, including New Orleans, where Mayor LaToya Cantrell said she was “very much concerned about” the possibility of tornadoes.
Mississippi National Guard resources on ready
Meanwhile, Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves said Thursday the state has sent out resources to help communities and will deploy National Guard resources as well if needed.
Officials there also warned of the possibility of tornadoes in the state, as well as heavy rain.
“We anticipate the storm, or at least what’s left of the eye of it will only spend about 30 hours in Mississippi,” Reeves said. “During that time, we do expect significant rainfall, up to four to six inches in the southwestern counties, and maybe in some of the western Delta counties that are on the Mississippi River.”
Earlier this week the governor declared a state of emergency “in anticipation of damage” and urged residents to “prep for the worst.”
“Texans in the path of this storm should continue to heed the guidance and direction of local officials, remain cautious, and remember – Turn Around, Don’t Drown,” Gov. Greg Abbott said in a news release.
CDC warns of carbon monoxide poisoning
Ahead of the storm, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also warned doctors and clinics to keep an eye out for carbon monoxide poisoning.
People often turn on gas-powered generators, charcoal or gas grills and propane devices when the power goes out after a storm hits and these can generate carbon monoxide — an invisible, odorless and lethal gas.
“If used or placed improperly, these sources can lead to carbon monoxide (CO) build up inside buildings, garages, or campers and poison the people and animals inside,” the CDC said in a warning this week.
“These devices should never be used inside an enclosed space, home, basement, garage, or camper — or even outside near an open window or window air conditioner,” the CDC said.
CNN’s Maggie Fox and Hira Humayun contributed to this report.