"We're strengthening the levees, both sides of the river, but we have some new levees that we're covering with plastic on the east bank but a direct hit from a category three, I mean a two or better, we would see some flooding," Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser said.
The Gulf Coast hasn't been hit by a hurricane since 2008, when Dolly, Ike and Gustav all struck the region.
For Florida, the storm has thus far had less of an impact than some had feared.
Brian Bower, manager at the Sloppy Joe's bar in the Florida Keys, said it squalled there for about an hour this afternoon.
"The thought then was still that it was going to be worse and then, you know, the eye of the storm came and that was fairly calm and by that point the tail or the trailing edge is completely disintegrated and the storm was moving off to the west," he said.
"It's sort of a misty rain out there," Bower said. "You know and some of the roads have good sized puddles on them but you know the forecast says that we're going to see you know sort of steady but light rain."
ABC News; Max Golembo, ABC News Radio and The Associated Press contributed to this report.