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Louisiana residents gear up for abnormally active hurricane season



LOUISIANA – As the United States Coast Guard continues searching for missing people after a commercial ship capsized Tuesday in the Gulf of Mexico due to a thunderstorm, Louisiana residents are preparing for more upcoming storms in a hurricane season forecasted to be more active than usual.

“This is going to be a rough summer,” Adrienne Webber, 57, who is originally from southern Louisiana, told CBS News. “Make sure you’re prepared.”

According to a study published Thursday by the Weather Company, 18 different named storms — including eight hurricanes and three major hurricanes — are predicted to hit the Atlantic Basin during this hurricane season, which officially runs between June 1 and November 30. This projection, while shy of last year’s record of 30 named storms, is above the 30-year average.

With over a month to go until the official start of hurricane season, severe weather is already taking a toll on the area. On Tuesday afternoon, a 129-foot commercial ship capsized eight miles south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana, where there were high seas and winds of up to 90 miles per hour. Nineteen people were aboard at the time. Four were killed and nine remain missing.

“Our deepest sympathy goes out to the family, friends and loved ones of everyone involved in this tragic incident,” Captain Will Watson, commander of the New Orleans Coast Guard Sector said in a press release. “We are using every asset available to us to continue our search efforts.”

Since the capsizing, rain and severe weather have hindered the Coast Guard’s search, and families have only become angrier, CBS News’ Jessi Mitchell reports.Divers have had to pause their search multiple times because of dangerous weather conditions. Visibility has been so low at time that the divers could only see “about as far as their hand in front of them,” even with lights, Mitchell said.

“The crew members’ loved ones are not taking the news of weather delays well,” Mitchell added.

Webber, who has endured other severe hurricanes in Louisiana like Katrina, said that she is preparing for the active hurricane season by making sure she has supplies ready for her and her family.

“We have to be ready for whatever may happen,” she said. “You need to make sure that you have everything.”