"It's only a Cat 1, so we'll be OK," she said, loading bags of ice into her own SUV. Her home was boarded up Monday and she had been preparing for two days with a routine checklist. But neither she nor husband Keith was worried.
"We'll get a little wind, a little rain," her husband said, shrugging. "We could get a little tornado action here and there. That's always exciting. But you can't plan for that, so you can't worry about it."
Dominica Knight, 23, of Houma, La., sat on a folding chair in a corner of the Houma Municipal Auditorium with a sleeping baby in her arms, a restless toddler fidgeting next to her and a pile of blankets and dolls at her feet.
She'd just arrived at what was now the official evacuation center for Terrebonne Parish and the center's director was on a microphone asking people to make room for her and other newcomers on the broad orange white and black-flecked floor that resembled old-fashioned kitchen linoleum.
"I have kids and they both have asthma," she said, holding 11-month-old Zyla in the crook of her arm while holding onto 2-year-old Damia with her free hand. She didn't want to be without power, or away from emergency assistance with a hurricane approaching.
She had expected the center to provide cots and was now waiting for a friend to bring her something to sleep on.
"I'm not used to evacuating. I haven't had one in seven years and I didn't have them," she said, nodding toward her children.
Bobby Pellegrin, a 39-year-old welder, didn't want to spend Tuesday night at his wooden house in Houma with Hurricane Isaac moving in, so he and his wife evacuated to a hotel. But after checking in, they, along with the other guests, got notes from the Hampton Inn management warning them they would be required to move into the hallways during the worst of the storm to avoid injury from broken window glass.
Also, they were told to prepare for a lack of power and air conditioning. "I thought they had a generator. That's why we came here," Pellegrin said.
Associated Press writers Sheila Kumar in Baton Rouge, La., Jeff Amy in Biloxi, Miss., Vicki Smith in Vacherie, La., and Kevin McGill in Houma, La., contributed to this report.
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