Isaac clogs highways
By JAMES A. ROBICHAUX
Local law enforcement agencies are preparing for any problems due from Tropical Storm Isaac and have been assisting in the evacuation of residents, particularly those from affected areas to the east.
Westbound traffic on U.S. 90 was “significantly heavy” until 2:30 p.m. Monday when the traffic lights in Bayou Vista and Berwick were switched to flashing yellow for westbound traffic, according to St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Traci Landry.
“Patrols will be increased and, aside from looking for normal activity, deputies will be looking for water levels rising and focus on making sure people’s property is secure” especially in the Cypremort Point area, Landry said, adding that extra patrols and having all deputies on standby is standard procedure for tropical storms and hurricanes.
The Louisiana State Police reported similar problems involving more than usual traffic at traffic lights west of St. Mary Parish.
“There were some delays as you go farther west in the Lafayette area, but that was due to light cycles. Anytime you have an increase in flow of traffic, you’ll have a backup there. Aside from that, things went really smoothly yesterday,” Trooper 1st Class Stephen Hammons of the LSP said.
Elsewhere, the Morgan City Police Department increased patrols.
“I doubled my shifts,” Glenn Blanco, Morgan City assistant chief, said, adding that there were “extra people coming through town.”
He said that two detectives who would normally work in the office are out on patrol.
“We’re ready. All of our people are made to stay, except our non-essential people like records clerks,” Blanco said.
He asked for cooperation from the public during the storm.
“As of now, there’s no curfew. That’s the mayor’s call. All we ask during the height of the storm is for people to stay off the street,” Blanco said.
“I don’t even know if anybody has left. It’s hard to tell. If traffic backs up, we’ll put people at intersections and help get them through,” he said.
Hammons asked that motorists call 511 on their cellphones for road closure information, and for other issues call *LSP or 911.
“Within the Troop I Acadiana area, there are no planned road closures. We will only close roads as the need arises,” Hammons said.
He said that police are still preparing for a large number of vehicles on the highways today.