Evacuation orders issued in Grand Isle ahead of Hurricane Zeta as community readies for latest storm

Evacuation orders issued in Grand Isle ahead of Hurricane Zeta as community readies for latest storm
Grand Isle Burrito levee bolstered for Zeta (Source: rob masson)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A mandatory evacuation order was issued at noon Tuesday, Oct. 27 for Grand Isle. Most island residents are heeding the warning, though some say they will ride Zeta out.

The $1 million, 1,500-foot levee could be the difference maker in Grand Isle as Zeta quickly makes its way towards the Louisiana coast, town officials believe.

“They’re there to do the job and I hope they do,” said resident, Connie Snyder.

The state’s only inhabited barrier island may be better fortified than ever. Tons of rocks and hundreds of sandbags line nearly a mile of beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico side, and a new levee has been built on the bay side just in time for the latest tropical system threat.

“Zeta is coming in fast. It’s the seventh cone and it’s right on top of us,” Mayor David Camardelle said.

He has served in public office for 40 years in Grand Isle and has never seen anything like this storm season. While he believes the new bay-side levee will help, he says Zeta will put it to the test.

“Tide is coming up at 8 a.m. with the storm coming and we’re expecting four to six feet of surge. It could top the levee,” the mayor said.

While the vast majority of islanders have left, the Snyders say they will ride Zeta out.

“We’re staying this time. We’ll see, well, hopefully we won’t see,” Snyder said.

The island has 15 additional pumps and generators sent in by the parish from the previous storm. They will remain in the community through Thursday after Zeta is gone.

Grand Isle’s mayor is now working with Jefferson Parish officials to find more money to extend the new back levee even farther than its current 1,500 feet.

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