Hurricane Isaac in 2012 was the last hurricane to hit Louisiana.
After such a lull in storms, the question is whether residents have become complacent and won’t make the necessary preparations at the beginning of a hurricane season, especially when forecasts say it will be quieter than normal .
Complacency for a state that has made it through hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike and Isaac in the past 10 years, just to name a few, is not a real concern, according to meteorologists.
“I think we are still so shell shocked from hurricanes Katrina and Rita even though we’re 10 years out,” said Barry Keim, state climatologist. “I see that Louisiana is still hypersensitive to hurricanes.”
Those two storms impacted a huge area, he said.
“You meet so many people in Baton Rouge who are from Plaquemines or St. Bernard (parishes),” said Hal Needham, program manager for the Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program with LSU.
Keim added, “I don’t think complacency is going to be too much of a problem for Louisiana for a while.”
At the same time, there have been many people who have moved into south Louisiana, including New Orleans, who were not touched personally by a hurricane, and Katrina and Rita are just local lore to them.
“I think the further you get away from the storm, the more years you don’t have a storm, the more distant that memory,” said Ken Graham, meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service’s Slidell office.
In addition to new people moving into areas that could be impacted by tropical storms, it’s been 10 years since hurricanes Katrina and Rita, so there are fourth- and fifth- graders who weren’t even alive when those storms hit, he said.
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