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In Port Arthur, storm proves a puzzle

A slowly intensifying storm of shifting destination appeared to be turning toward Louisiana and away from Texas on Wednesday afternoon, but forecasters accented the “uncertainty” of what they were seeing.

The storm — will it become a named storm, Barry? — was keeping its own counsel as Wednesday wore on, which apparently limited the city of Port Arthur’s decision-making about how to prepare.

This much was known late Wednesday: No evacuation — neither mandatory nor voluntary — has been advised. The city said it would provide additional information, as it becomes available, online.

In an issued statement, Port Arthur city officials noted that the storm appeared “very disorganized.” It created some mayhem on New Orleans streets Wednesday morning, causing some flooding, but National Weather Service forecasters said the storm appeared by later Wednesday to be pointed toward somewhere between Cameron Parish to New Orleans — almost the width of the state. Only western Cameron Parish and the “Florida parishes,” east of the Mississippi River, were eliminated in the target area.

In their statement, Port Arthur city officials suggested should the storm turn toward Texas, the city may hand out sandbags from an as-yet undetermined location. The city used to hand out sandbags from the El Vista area but the location there is no longer available.

The city also suggested that residents check at www.portarthurt.gov or at the city’s Facebook page to stay current with storm developments and the city’s planned responses. Citizens should also email the city at copainfo@portarthurtx.gov or call 409-963-8899 for information.