Bill Beckett, a long-time Gainesville area resident, now lives in Shreveport, Louisiana where he’s feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac. Beckett is the program director at Shreveport’s Red River Radio and as so is a crucial link in getting information and warnings out to residents of Louisiana. Beckett says Shreveport was expecting to be hit head-on by Tropical Storm Isaac until it took a shift to the east this morning.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Beckett11.mp3]
Since the shift, Red River Radio has intensified their broadcast efforts in order to keep listeners who have to deal with the brunt of the storm, well informed.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Beckett8.mp3]
Coincidentally, Hurricane Katrina took a similar route to Tropical Storm Isaac’s 7 years ago. Shreveport is in the northwest corner of Louisiana and was not heavily affected by Hurricane Katrina. It was actually a rescue location during that storm. Many people who evacuated to Shreveport stayed there.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Beckett6.mp3]
Now that Isaac is passing through, Beckett expects those who evacuated to Shreveport to be able to return to their homes in the next couple of days. However, their homes may be a little more damp than they left them.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Beckett7.mp3]
Beckett’s listening area has been suffering from a drought and he says he believes farmers will welcome the rain. However, if it falls too quickly, flooding can become an issue.[audio:http://www.wuft.org/media/audio/Beckett9.mp3]
According to the National Weather Service, Tropical Storm Isaac is forecast to continue weakening as it moves inland over the next 48 hours. It is expected to become a tropical depression Thursday afternoon or night. However, life-threatening hazards from storm surge, inland flooding and tornadoes are still occurring.