Vitt, the team’s interim coach, said he told players to prepare to evacuate family members and that the Saints would probably leave Tuesday morning for Thursday night’s game against the Tennessee Titans in Nashville. Players were given Monday off to take care of their families.
At the moment, Isaac is threatening to become a hurricane and make landfall along the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The Saints, however, are taking no chances.
“It was our recommendation that [players] evacuate their families,” Vitt said (via Nola.com). “We will give the team off [Monday] so that they can further seek shelter for their families. Our players will be here at 8 o’clock on Tuesday, and at such time we’ll receive an update see where this weather’s taking us.
“If need be, we will have wheels up and go to Tennessee at 8 o’clock. We do have a contingency plan that we can evacuate [Monday]. Instead of going to Tennessee, we would go to Cincinnati and practice there. Those things have already been laid out. We wanted to give our players time to get their families out of town and to a safe place.”
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina turned the Saints into a vagabond team as the Category 3 storm, which decimated the city and caused more than 1,800 deaths, forced the Saints to relocate to San Antonio. With the SuperDome severely damaged, the team played home games there, in East Rutherford, N.J., and Baton Rouge.
In 2008, with Hurricane Gustav headed toward the area, the Saints evacuated to Indianapolis to prepare for their season-opener.
On Sunday, a hurricane warning was issued for the city and Mayor Mitch Landrieu declared a state of emergency. In addition, Gov. Bobby Jindal declared a state of emergency for Louisiana and recommended evacuation of low-lying and coastal areas.
Capital Weather Gang: All eyes on New Orleans, Isaac
Post-Katrina: New Orleans revels in relationship with Saints
From the archives: In 2005, Saints prepared to play entire season on the road
From the archives: In 2006, SuperDome reopens