The evacuation applies to about 700 horses currently stabled at Fair Grounds for its Summer Quarter Horse Meet, as well as all backside workers.
All four days of live racing scheduled for this week, Wednesday to Saturday, have been cancelled. Officials expect that the season will be extended and the cancelled races will be redrawn the following week.
“By cancelling all four days this week, everyone will have time to return and settle back in before we resume racing,” Halstrom said. “Logistically it would be difficult to run this weekend even if the worst of the storm were to miss us.”
The Evangeline Training Center in Carencro, La., has several hundred open stalls. Horsemen in need of a place to stable can inquire about availability by calling (337) 896-7223.
The National Weather Service’s latest update on Tropical Storm Isaac projects a path heading toward the central Gulf Coast, with New Orleans squarely within the area of probable landfall. The storm is expected to strengthen to a Category 2 hurricane over the next two days.
The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale used by the National Weather Service defines the likely damage resulting from a Category 2 hurricane as follows: “Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallow rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.”