WEST MONROE (KTVE/KARD) — Several locations in the twin cities could turn into a refuge for South Louisiana residents. Like Plaquemines and Iberia parishes evacuating to West Monroe.

With laura looking to impact our region, Laura is expected to bring strong winds, rain, and tornadoes are a possibility.

City leaders are working with Homeland Security to ensure Northeast Louisiana is ready for any scenario. They say hotels will be the first line of defense and shelters are a last resort.

“We have a shelter at the West Monroe Senior Center, The West Monroe Community Center, [and] if needed we can use the Convention Center, as well as our Rec centers,” said West Monroe Mayor Staci Mitchell.

Dealing with tropical weather while during a pandemic presents challenges. However, Mayor Mitchell says, they’ve got it covered. “Cots would be distanced, immediate family members would be kept together. If anyone has COVID or has a temperature they will be isolated and kept together there. Everyone will be required to wear a face mask,” she stated.

As for Ouachita Parish, OPPJ President Shane Smiley says they’re monitoring the weather, before making any drastic changes and plans.

“If that rainfall amount was to change here in the next day or two and we see that we’re going to have increased amounts of rainfall or more wind, our plan will change accordingly and it will change immediately,” he stated.

As for the City of Monroe, The Civic Center would be a shelter location for evacuees coming from Terrebonne, St. John The Baptist, and Lafourche parishes.