As strengthening Isaac moved slowly toward the upper Gulf Coast Monday, the possible impact of the storm on North Texas appeared to be diminishing.
Forecasters were saying the projected paths of the storm were unlikely to bring rain to North Texas, and with no mandatory evacuations called for in New Orleans, it seemed unlikely that the Dallas-Fort Worth region was going to see a repeat of 2005, when thousands of evacuees arrived after Hurricane Katrina.
Officials with the Red Cross and the city of Fort Worth emergency management office were watching for a possible surge of evacuees from Louisiana, but it's unclear whether it will happen. "We really wish we had a crystal ball," said Anita Foster, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in North Texas.
When Katrina hit in 2005, North Texas officials had just six hours warning that buses were on the way.
"It was one of the most daunting calls we ever received," Foster said. "But today is such a different picture, not just with the Red Cross but with all nonprofit service organizations and with local cities. If we get a call like that again, we're ready to go. We've got all of the volunteers if we need it. But if we do find ourselves not needing to shelter, that's OK, too."
The Red Cross moved supplies to East Texas on Sunday.
If evacuees from Louisiana come to North Texas, they would first go to a welcome center in Mesquite and then be directed to other North Texas cities, said Juan Ortiz, emergency management coordinator for the city of Fort Worth.
Supplies from North Texas had already started arriving in Baton Rouge, La., on Monday.
Staff members and supplies from the Federal Emergency Management Agency Region 6 in Denton arrived during the weekend at various locations in Louisiana. An incident management assistance team left Saturday and is now at the Louisiana Emergency Operations Center in Baton Rogue.
Staff writer Domingo Ramirez Jr. contributed to this report.
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698