ETX emergency officials have crews on standby for Hurricane Isaac impact

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Emergency officials across East Texasare watching weather forecasts more closely this week.

"Isaac has been making a westwardpass towards New Orleans right now but if it continues west it could affect usmore," said Don Morris, Emergency Management Coordinator, Angelina County.

As Isaac targets neighboring Louisianafor landfall, Angelina County officials say they're prepared for the worst.

Lufkin is no stranger to disaster and DeputyCity Manager Keith Wright says an emergency plan is in place for any scenario.

"We have a lot of experience we wentthrough Ike and Rita which were pretty much direct hits on Lufkin," saidWright.

"If they evacuate in Beaumont,Port Arthur area down there then we will be notified ahead of time and he willstart making preparations to put shelter up to accommodate the public,"said Morris.

Emergency officials say non-profitorganizations like the Salvation Army and the Red Cross are crucial duringpotential disasters.

"When Katrina hit our populationalmost doubled simply in shelters and having people in place and ready to helpcan make a big difference," said  CandyceWagnon, Service Director, Salvation Army

Right now, officials are monitoring windspeeds. Strong gusts could easily topple trees killedby drought potentially knocking out power.

"We'll probably put some crews on standbyfor any type of debris or trees that might fall," said Wright.

Emergency officials say they have plans inplace for any disaster but hope Isaac will continue to track east.

"If we have a hazmat situation wehave plans to handle that if we have a tornado come through we can handle that,"said Morris.

Isaac's intensity will determine theEast Texas response. Until landfall, county and city crews are on standby.

"We're ready as well as anybody can be,"said Wright.

The Salvation Army inNacogdoches will host a training for their volunteer response team Saturday September8th from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

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