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Editorial: Exercise patience in face of rain

L’Observateur / January 14, 1998

Such events as this week’s deluge affects nearly every branch ofgovernment, and the pressure, literally, is on from the public to dealquickly, efficiently and effectively with the problems.

There will be street flooding. There will be, at times, roads blocked. Therewill be backups and flustered homeowners. Hopefully, though it canhappen, there won’t be homes and businesses flooded. The stress andstrain on parish officials at such times can be tremendous.

And it’s not only in parish governments but also emergency agenciesincluding fire and police and ambulance services. All have to function,keep their good humor and get their jobs done despite the added demandson their resources.

Rainfall between four and five inches fell in much of the River Parishes onMonday and perhaps a bit less on Tuesday but more is expected today,according to emergency officials. In south Louisiana, as they said, rainhappens.

In St. Charles, for instance, the constant rainfall helped, as the pumpingsystem stayed primed and able to keep water from building up too muchbefore the pumps kicked in and brought the water levels back down,according to Emergency Operations Director Tab Troxler. “The system iscontinually pumping,” he said.

Perennial problem areas such as Ormond Boulevard, Barton Avenue and St.Rose Avenue had their spells of high water, but pumps cleared the streetswithin 15 minutes, he said.

In Reserve on Monday, Homewood was blocked for a time and on Captain G.Bourgeois Street and on Persimmon, streets were blocked for a time aswell. No road closings had been noted as of press time on Tuesday.However, more rain was falling and more was forecast well intoWednesday.

Parish government resources at times such as these must try to functionas a well-oiled machine. They have to deal with impatient and sometimesirate members of the public, some of whom may not understand why thewater doesn’t instantly drain.

We can only counsel the public to remain patient and understanding andkeep their good humor about them. We also counsel parish workers thesame patience and attention to detail. It’s a tough job in times such asthese and we applaud those workers who might have to clear a cloggedditch or culvert, kick-start a malfunctioning pump or deal with angrycomplaints over a telephone. At least the phones work.

We also counsel those who are stuck either at home or work that this, too,will pass. Residents in Garyville, Mt. Airy and parts of Reserve on Tuesdaywere dealing with low water pressure, according to Kathy Gilmore of theSt. John Emergency Operations Center, and crews were on the scene, tryingto get everything back on line and functioning well again.

Sometimes it seems all this rain will never end. It always does, though.And give a smile to a parish worker, a firefighter or a deputy. They couldsure use it right now.

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