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Judge Branick: no evacuation call for Jefferson County; Mayor Bartie calls for voluntary Sabine evacuation

As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick said no evacuation order would be called for Jefferson County.

“The information the last couple of days has not been as such that would justify an evacuation,” he told Port Arthur Newsmedia Thursday morning. “Now it’s too late. Normally we have to call (an evacuation) at least 48 hours before tropical force winds reach the coast.”

Branick said Greg Bostwick (KFDM meteorologist) has called for wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph, with 2-4 inches of rain, while Mike’s Weather Page is calling for 70 to 80 mph gusts. There are conflicts on opinions, Branick noted.

The National Weather Service said landfall projections show Hurricane Delta hitting as a category 2 hurricane on Friday afternoon or evening in Cameron Parish, Louisiana and then moving to the northeast across parts of southwest, south central and central Louisiana Friday night.

Branick signed a Declaration of Disaster for Jefferson County at 9:43 a.m. Thursday because of the negative threats of Hurricane Delta to people and property.

Port Arthur Mayor Thurman Bartie asked residents in the Sabine Pass area of town to voluntarily evacuate as Hurricane Delta approaches.

Bartie is also calling for all of Port Arthur south of Texas 73 to “be on guard” and “be vigilant.”

“We do have the Seawall, and we are not expecting a surge over 9 feet,” Bartie said. “If the surge goes higher than that, you will be involved in an evacuation. As it stands, you are OK, but be on guard.”

Bartie encouraged residents to top off automobiles, pack bags and perishable items in the event of a necessary evacuation.