MORGAN CITY, LA (WAFB) - By the end of the Tuesday lunch shift at Cafe Jo Jo's on the riverfront in Morgan City, food wasn't the only thing being prepped.
"We prepare ourselves and get everything at hand and ready so we don't have to be scurrying around at the last minute. You don't want to be scurrying around at the last minute," said the cafe's owner, Jo Jo Blanchard.
Blanchard has weathered many storms from her restaurant. When she got the alerts about a tropical storm in the Gulf, she fell into a well practiced routine.
"We prepare ourselves for the water and after awhile, we'll get our sandbags and have them here by the front door and we'll be ready," said Blanchard.
St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert was also out making his rounds, checking that everyone was up to date on the latest weather alerts and keeping a close eye on an already swollen Atchafalaya River.
"It's hard to predict Mother Nature," said Hebert. "When you think something is going to be mild and calm, you know, there are isolated incidents that you're forced to contend with things that you normally wouldn't think you would under those conditions, so we're not taking anything for granted."
Officials are also watching the Franklin Canal around 20 miles west of Morgan City. Known to be a trouble spot for flooding, Parish Levee District crews spent much of the day closing the lock and pumping water on the backside.
"Honestly, our biggest concern right now is rainfall. This system is set up to handle it. Currently, we have two pumps in. There's new pumps that haven't been tested yet, so there's a possibility of testing that," said operating manager, Mike Brocato.
When all that is done, there's nothing left to do but wait for the storm and maybe grab a bit at Jo Jo's, because that's a routine even Tropical Storm Cindy can't interrupt.
"We have a gas stove. We're ready. We feed the multitudes when necessary," said Blanchard.